Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | January 2011
In This Issue
Freudenheim at Conference
Philadelphia Dignitaries
On Collecting
Fundraising Insights
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.

A Conference That Covers All Our Bases'11 logo date


This issue of the CAJM E-News highlights several of the speakers who will distinguish our upcoming conference in Philadelphia (February 27-March 1).  Their varied perspectives suggest some of the departments, or areas of concern, of our museums:   collections, connections to the local community, raising funds for operations and capital projects, inter-generational programming ... and even CAJM's own history.


A CAJM Founder:  Tom Freudenheim 


For a panel that looks to the future of Jewish museums, we invited one individual who has thought about our institutions for fifty years - and yet he looks so young!  Tom Freudenheim began his distinguished museum career in the 1960s as a curator at The Jewish Museum in New York, before becoming Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Worcester Art Museum.  Later he served as Executive Director at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and the FreudenheimDeputy Director of the Jüdisches Museum Berlin.  During his tenures as Director of the Museums Program at the NEA and in various capacities at the Smithsonian Institution, he guided countless staff and board members of Jewish museums.  He will bring his long experience and rich insights to a "SWOT" analysis of our field, joining Gabriel Goldstein of Yeshiva University Museum, Joan Rosenbaum of The Jewish Museum and Carole Zawatsky from the JCC of San Francisco for a Sunday afternoon panel entitled "Where Are We and What Do We Do Next? Jewish Museums - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats."


Philadelphia's Finest Welcome Us to Their City


The HonoNutterrable Michael A. Nutter (l.), a lifetime resident of Philadelphia, became its chief executive in 2008.  Since that time, Mayor Nutter has made enormous strides in growing the regional economy, reducing crime, increasing graduation rates, and working to make his metropolis thegreenest in America. We are honored that this eminent and charismatic public official will address us at Sunday evening's festive dinner hosted by the National Museum of American Jewish HistoryThe following dayRub we will hear from another representative of America's sixth largest city,in a session that looks at museum-community collaborations: Bill Adair (r. above), who leads the Heritage Philadelphia Program at the The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.  On Tuesday, Timothy Rub, George D. Widener Director and CEO of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (r. below), will host us for a preview visit to his institution's major Chagall exhibition.


Collecting Today's Materials for Tomorrow  

Alongside kiddush cups, seder plates, and other traditional artifacts, Jewish museums are building  collections of present-day Jewish material culture.  How should we interpret these materials, when the history surrounding them has not necessarily been written?  A Monday session, "Collecting the SchweitzerContemporary" will feature Rabbi Peter H. Schweitzer, who donated his fascinating, expansive collection of Jewish Americana to the National Museum of American Jewish History.A leader of Humanistic Judaism, Schweitzer has stated that the NMAJH shares his attitudes regarding diversity in Jewish belief and expression.  Over 25 years of collecting, he amassed more than 10,000 items - ritual objects, as well as artifacts of decor, popular culture, and advertising - many of which we will view during our conference stay.  This collections session will be notable also because its speakers incllude CAJM's first mother-daughter team: religious studies professor Vanessa Ochs and session chair Juliana Ochs Dweck.


Goldseker Among Speakers with New Insights in Development  


One woman who spends a lot of time thinking about generational continuity will be a panelist at our Tuesday session titled "Dialogue 360: New Insights in Development."  Sharna Goldseker is Vice PresideGoldsekernt of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, where she directs 21/64, a nonprofit consulting division specializing in next generation and multi-generational strategic philanthropy. In that capacity, she speaks and consults with families, foundations, and federations. Goldseker holds a Masters in Public Administration in Non-Profit Management from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and has additional training in organizational development and group dynamics. She serves on several foundations and development-oriented boards.  This session, with a significant question-and-answer component, will cover a range of topics: major gifts, social networking, capital and annual campaigns, and foundation funding. It will be of great interest to professionals who wish to craft an entire fundraising strategy - and others who want to pick up a few new techniques.

CAJM and Congress: Advocating For Our Museums
Unfortunately, this year AAM's Museum Advocacy Days in Washington, on February 28 and March 1, will coincide with our annual conference. We are grateful that staff of the Jewish Museum of Maryland will be there to speak on our collective behalf.  CAJM contributes to the advocacy effort as part of a larger coalition of museum associations that confers throughout the year. Such efforts to promote and substantiate the impact of museums helps to strengthen the argument for government funding of the arts and humanities. During Advocacy Days, teams visit representatives in Congress to make the case - but this is work that we can undertake all year round, and it can lead to such successes as S. 3984, the Museums and Library Services Act of 2010, which was signed into law by President Obama in December.  Passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, the bill reauthorizes the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency, through 2016.
CAJM Puts the Spotlight on YouJewess

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, offers opportunities for information exchange, and works on behalf of Jewish museums, including the largely digital Jewish Women's Archive, from whose collections comes this handsome journal.
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