Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | December 2010
In This Issue
Talking Through the Conference
Reflecting on the Holocaust
Rosenbaum to Retire
Anniversary for Canadian Museum
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.

Talking Circles: CAJM 2011 Innovation
'11 logo date


The CAJM conference is notoriously rich and hectic, taking full advantage of the three or four days each year in which our colleagues gather to learn, share, and socialize. Acknowledging that the busy schedule can sometimes leave scant time to assimilate knowledge or respond to new points of view, the 2011 gathering (February 27-March 1) will provide a novel format, ensuring that participants reflect and debrief. Talking Circles are facilitated small group conversDoeringations on topics and issues of mutual interest. The concept was recommended by Zahava Doering, Senior Social Scientist at the Smithsonian Institution, who has long been a CAJM mentor on evaluation and visitor studies. In Philadelphia, the Talking Circles will be organized around ten topics or streams, including program planning, curatorial issues, raising revenue, and the challenges of wearing multiple hats. Conferees will select a stream based on their professional affiliation; the group discussions will respond to conference themes and relevant topics, building over three sessions interspersed throughout the conference.  For complete conference information, visit


Conference Session: Rethinking the Holocaust


Feldman, JAs we move deeper into the 21st century, and farther from direct experience and memories of the Holocaust, how will Jewish museums present and teach about that tragic historical event?  A conference session entitled Positioning the Holocaust for the Next Generation will offer some ideas. Moderated by MarwellMira Goldfarb, Executive Director at the Sarah & Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre in Toronto, the panel will feature Jeffrey Feldman (top left), Adjust Professor of Museum Studies, New York University; David G. Marwell (right), Director, Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and James Young (left), Professor of Young, JEnglish and Judaic Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  In both academic and museum settings, these three experts have considered the Holocaust, its origins and its aftermath, and the ways in which its history has been recorded, remembered, and retold.  Drawing on scholarship, museology, concepts of commemoration, memorialization, and public memory, they will trace how our understanding of the Holocaust has evolved since it first became a subject for museum interpretation.  What stories have been told, untold, and why?  And how might they be told to and with future generations?  Learn more about the conference.

Rosenbaum to Retire as Director of The Jewish Museum


Soon one of CAJM's most respected leaders will step down from her position as Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director of The Jewish Museum in New York City.  In June 2011, Joan RosenbauRosenbaumm will retire after a distinguished and accomplished thirty-year career.  She has been, according to Board Chairman Joshua Nash, "the most influential leader this institution has had in its 106-year history."  During her tenure, Rosenbaum helped to refine The Jewish Museum's identity as a museum of art and culture and to double the size of its home at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street. She strengthened and expanded the museum's endowment, annual operating budget, level of public programming, and world-renowned collection, today numbering 26,000 objects. Under her leadership, the museum has presented such award-winning and influential exhibitions as The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth, and Justice; The Circle of Montparnasse: Jewish Artists in Paris, 1905-1945; The Power of Conversation: Jewish Women and Their Salons; Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities; and (currently) Houdini: Art and Magic; as well as exhibitions focusing on such individual artists as Camille Pissarro, Amedeo Modigliani, Louise Nevelson, and Eva Hesse.  Countless CAJM members, both individual and institutional, have benefited from Joan's wisdom and creativity, her extraordinary standards, and her commitment to the Jewish museum field.  We thank and congratulate her.


40 Years: Jewish Museum & Archives of British Columbia


Mazel tov to one of our Canadian members, celebrating its first four decades.  The Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia was founded in Vancouver in late 1970, with assistance from the National Council of Jewish Women and the Canadian Jewish Congress, and guided by historian Cyril Leonoff. Since then, the Society has published a regular journal, The ScribChurchill eulogy, BCe, authored several books, and recorded numerous oral histories of community members throughout the province. The Society has preserved important photographs, records, and objects, and has made them accessible to the public through dynBC core exhibitamic exhibits and educational programs. Since 2007, the Society has operated the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia in a gallery space within the JCC of Greater Vancouver.  A new permanent home for the museum will be announced in early 2011. For those too distant to visit, you will find a wonderful online archive of words, images, and audio clips, as well as virtual exhibits documenting more than 150 years of Jews in and from British Columbia. (left, core exhibition; right, a eulogy for Winston Churchill, delivered at a local synagogue in 1965).

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 YouGutstein

CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at our annual conference, coming up in late February 2011.  CAJM models professional standards and offers opportunities for information exchangeCAJM advocates on behalf of Jewish museums like this one: the Nancy and Lawrence Gutstein Museum at Congregation Mickve Israel in Savannah, GA, the third oldest Jewish congregation in America.
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