Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | November 2010
In This Issue
Holman Conwill to Keynote
New NMAJH Debuts
50 Years of JHSGW
Anniversary for CJH
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.
Kinshasha Holman Conwill is CAJM 2011 Keynote
'11 logo date

A visionary museum professional will be the keynote speaker at CAJM 2011 in Philadelphia, addressing the conference on Monday, February 28.  Kinshasha Holman Conwill is Deputy Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, which will open on the Mall in 2015. She brings to this work decades of experiencKinshashae in museums, education, and cultural policy, and her thoughtful reflections on the challenges of the ethnic-specific museum will be of special interest to the CAJM membership.  Holman Conwill was formerly Director of The Studio Museum in Harlem from 1988 to 1999, and she is a prolific writer and frequent lecturer.  A past Chair of the National Museum Services Board, she has served on the boards of the American Association of Museums, Association of Art Museum Directors, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, New Visions for Public Schools, Cal Arts, and Urban Assembly.  She has been a senior consultant and policy advisor to such projects as the AAM's Museums and Community Initiative and the New York City Creative Communities program, as well as a grants panelist for major private foundations and the NEA and NEH.   The CAJM conference will take place February 27-March 1.

Festive Events Herald Opening of National Museum

NMAJH facadeBeginning a new chapter in its 34-year history, and concluding ten years of planning and a three-year, $150 million building project, the National Museum of American Jewish History opens in its new home on Philadelphia's Independence Mall with a grand opening weekend, November 12-14.  Celebratory events (all sold out at this time) include preview tours for founding members; a panel discussion on Jewish Encounters with Freedom, led by Deborah Dash Moore and including the museum's eminent team of historians; Crafting American Public Space, a conversation with five prominent architects (including NSeinfeldMAJH designer James S. Polshek), moderated by critic Paul Goldberger; an opening night gala featuring performances by Bette Midler and Jerry Seinfeld; and a grand opening ceremony Sunday at noon, with Vice President Joe Biden and other elected officials, national communal leaders, and more performances. NMAJH, within steps of the Liberty Bell and including 22,000 square feet of exhibition space, is projected to receive 250,000 visitors a year. CAJM members will be counted among these when the museum serves as host institution for CAJM's upcoming 2011 conference.  Mazel tov to friends and colleagues on this auspicious occasion.

Half a Century for DC's Jewish Historical Society

DC Tash wedding

The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington is also marking a landmark occasion, as it continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary year.  Throughout 2010 the JHSGW and its Lillian & Albert Small Jewish Museum have brought special exhibitions, living history shows, history "salons," walking tours, and collections resources to constituents in and around the District of Columbia - as well as online.  Each month the Society focused on a single collections "object of the month" in its electronic newsletter.  (Here you can explore everything from an 1877 circumcision gown to a bracelet from a Jewish summer camp.)  The JHSGW exemplifies one important category of CAJM member museum, the regional historical society or historic site steward.  It preserves the oldest synagogue building in the Washington, DC area (the 1876 Adas Israel), and likeDC 50th logo its peer museums thoroughout the country, mixes historical materials and contemporary methods to interpret the continuing story of its local Jewish community.  Award-winning journalist Marvin Kalb will help the organization look back when he speaks to the JHSGW's annual meeting on November 14, reflecting on the changes he has witnessed in Washington over the past five decades.

Center for Jewish History at Ten

A final anniversary item:   The Center for Jewish History, which has been a gracious host for CAJM events in past years, opened its doors on West 16th Street in Manhattan one decade ago.  This leading venue for exhibitions, cultural ideas, and public scholarship is rooted in the rich collections of its five partners: the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, Leo Baeck Institute, Yeshiva University Museum, and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, representing an extraordinary collaborative effort.  Their respective resources are CJH exterioraugmented by the Lillian Goldman Reading Room, Samberg Family History Prog16 mmram, and Ackman & Ziff Genealogy Institute, as well as opportunities for fellowships and visiting scholars, and a year-round calendar of public programs.  CJH sponsors its own programs and international conferences and facilitates cooperative projects such as the current YIVO-YUM exhibition, 16 mm Postcards: Home Movies of American Jewish Visitors to Poland (L), available in an online version and as a gallery exhibition at the site (through January 2, 2011).
Free Webinars for Sharpening Collections Skills

In the next few weeks, specialists in development, preservation, conservation, and archival practices will share expert information and advice in three free collections-oriented webinars.  "Funding for Collections Care" (11/22), "Public Outreach and Collections Care" (12/2), and "Care of Paper, Photographs, and Audiovisual Collections" (12/9) are being sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), Heritage Preservation, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Find out more and register for one or more of these valuable learning opportunities.
CAJM Puts the Spotlight on YouMiller, weddings

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 Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma (R, image from current exhibit Breaking the Glass: Wedding Traditions in Oklahoma Cultures).
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.

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