Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | October 2010
In This Issue
CAJM 2011 Conference
LA Holocaust Museum Opens
Centennial in Arizona
New Design for Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem
CAJM is ...
Jewish art and history museums, historic sites, historical and archival societies, Holocaust centers, synagogue museums, Jewish Community Center galleries, children's museums, and university galleries ...  the professionals and volunteers who work in them ...  the children, adults, and families who visit them ...  the patrons who support them ...  the organization that keeps them vital.
Distinguished Speakers to Conclude CAJM Conference

The concluding plenary of the 2011 CAJM Conference, "Let Our Voices Be Heard," will capitalize on the setting of the National Museum of American Jewish History to examine the role of museums in democratic life. Zahava Doering, Senior Social Scientist, Office of Policy & Analysis at the Smithsonian Institution, will moderate the discussion, which will feature Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, and David Eisner, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center.  Kurin, RichardEisnerThey will discuss how the museum experience can itself be a representation of democratic principles.  At the Smithsonian, Kurin oversees the Sackler, Freer, Cooper-Hewitt, Hirshhorn, and Renwick museums, as well as the national museums of American, African, African American, and American Indian art, history, and culture.  A prolific author, he has directed the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage for two decades.  David Eisner was formerly a Presidential appointee as CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Federal agency overseeing AmeriCorps, VISTA, and other national service programs.  Prior to that he was a senior executive at AOL Time Warner and America Online, where he established and directed the AOL Foundation.  Join us at the conference held in Philadelphia, February 27-March 1.

Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust Opens

This month marks the official opening of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMH), which many CAJM members had the opportunity to preview
last winter during the 2010 conference.  At this striking, subterranean structure in Pan Pacific Park, then under construction, Director Mark Rothman helped us imagine the finished building, designed by architect Hagy Belzberg. LAMH image He described the intended play of space, shadow and light as reflection of Holocaust history: its darkest hours, as well as the uplifting themes of survival, liberation and hope. In its realized form, the museum encompasses both original artifacts and many interactive elements: virtual photo albums and pictorial timelines, scale models, extensive archival film footage, and a Memory Pool that presents Jewish life in Europe before the war. LAMH exhibitFrom this handsome and prominent new setting, LAMH continues to educate, collect and preserve material culture, and to present permanent and rotating exhibitions on Holocaust themes. Currently on display: Paintings by Erich Lichtblau-Leskley. After liberation from Theresienstadt, the artist rescued hidden watercolor fragments and later reproduced his powerful Pictorial Ghetto Diary (r.).

Centennial for Jewish History Museum

On October 24th the Jewish History Museum in Tucson, Arizona celebrates the 100th anniversary of its historic building, the state's oldest synagogue - also known as the Stone Avenue Temple.  A street festival featuring klezmer and other musical performances will launch the evTucson 2ent, followed by the removal and opTucson JHM 2ening of a time capsule placed in the building's cornerstone by Jewish pioneers a century ago. According to Eileen Warshaw, the museum's director, this "100-year-old legacy is a statement that they believed in our continued dedication to the community they  founded."  At the same time, a new time capsule containing mementos and memories will be placed in the building's foundation. This gesture of optimism and continuity trusts that future generations will follow tradition and mark the synagogue's bicentennial in October 2110.

New Design for Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has unveiled new architectural designs for the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, a major new institution expected to be completed in four years. The Israeli firm Chyutin Architects was awarded the design contract after architect Frank Gehry withdrew from the project earlier in the year.  The six-story structure will include exhibition spaces, a theater, an educational center, and an outdoor garden and amphitheater.  According to the Los Angeles Times (see full article here), the Wiesenthal Center has raised approximately half of the $100 million budget and is confident of meeting its full fundraising goal.
Website Resources for CAJM Members 

On our Member Resources page you'll find useful material on exhibition development, public programming, fundraising, and promotion, plus stimulating scholarly articles and coverage of previous years' conferences.  Whether you're looking for advocacy pointers or forms for use in managing traveling exhibitions, start at www.cajm.netPlease write to us if you have any difficulty logging in to the website.  And, of course, to become a member, please use the link below.

CAJM Puts the Spotlight on YouKiki 3

CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at our annual conference.  CAJM offers information exchange and models professional standardsCAJM advocates on behalf of Jewish museums like the Museum at Eldridge Street.  (R, new stained glass window by artists Kiki Smith and Deborah GansPhoto: Kate Milford)
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