Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | March 2011
In This Issue
Conference a Success
Anniversary in Kansas City
New CAJM Board Members
Museum Advocacy Day
A Canadian Jewish Museum Relocates
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.

CAJM 2011 Conference Makes an Impression    


By all accounCAJM-NMAJH groupts - including participant comments and evaluation responses - the annual conference that concluded on March 1st was one of our most successful to date.  With a spectacular site, the new National Museum of American Jewish History, as home base, provocative speakers throughout, fascinating off-site trips (including, below right, the Chagall exhibit at the PhiladelAt Philadelphia Museum of Artphia Museum of Art), and new innovations like the Talking Circles for reflecting on sessions and themes, there were countless ways to learn and enjoy.  From the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, to our brilliant and amusing keynote, Kinshasha Holman Conwill (second from left above, with Gwen Goodman, NMAJH Director Emerita; Michael Rosenzweig, NMAJH CEO, and CAJM Chair Judy Margles), guest speakers offered plentiful food for thought.  There was an enormous and rich permanent exhibition to explore, delicious food, and ample opportunities for socializing and comparing notes.  The attendance of 200

Opening plenary

registrants from 70 institutions in 25  states and provinces comprised CAJM's largest gathering ever outside of New York City.  Now we can only sigh with relief and pride ... and begin planning for next year.  Thanks again to everyone who worked on CAJM 2011. (Above, conference co-chairs Deborah Cardin and Lynette Allen introduce opening plenary)


Kansas City Jewish Museum at 20  


The Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is two decades old.  Congratulations to the staff and board of this always creative KC logoorganization, which connects "communities and generations through the arts."  To celebrate the anniversary, special exhibitions and events are taking place all over town.  Opening (appropriately) on March 20th is The Dining Room Project, an KC plateeight-week "meal" featuring installations, screenings, live performances, excursions, discussions, and an array of dining experiences at the Epsten and Paragraph galleries.  In conjunction with the KCJMCA's Museum Without Walls program, tKC birdhere will be a Kansas City Collects Judaica Crawl on March 27.  Another community project is taking place online and is well worth a "visit":  A Bird in the Hand (beloved things) asks participants to submit a photograph showing them holding an object of personal significance, and expressing their feelings about that object.  The rest of the year should be just as exciting. 


Election Returns:  Four New CAJM Board Members 


At the conference's Town Hall Meeting, four talented colleagues were elected to first terms 

as members of the CAJM Board:  Jo Ann Arnowitz, Associate Director, Jewish Museum of 

Cardin, Perelman, Arnowitz

Cardin, Perelman, Arnowitz

Florida; Deborah Cardin, Education Director, Jewish Museum of Maryland; Zahava Doering, Senior Social Scientist, Office of 


Policy and Analysis at the Smithsonian Institution; and Josh Perelman, Deputy  Director of Programs at the National Museum of American Jewish History.  Each has participated in CAJM activities or planning efforts in the past.  We know that they will bring enthusiasm, intelligence, and experience to their Board service, working to strengthen and promote the Jewish museum field, and representing our 80 diverse member institutions and dozens of individual members.    

Museum Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill 


On February 28 and March 1, 2011, 310 museum advocates representing 46 states participated in 250 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs.  Organized by the American Association of Museums (AAM), their goal was to impress upon public officials the importance of museums and museum funding.  Among the group was Rachael Binning, CapitolCommunity Outreach Coordinator at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, who spoke on behalf of that institution, as well as on behalf of the Council of American Jewish Museums.  According to Binning, advocates were prepared in advance to place emphasis on two issues:  securing continued funding for the IMLS Office of Museum Services, Sen. Cardin's officeand recommending the inclusion of museum-school partnerships within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  With other colleagues from the Mid-Atlantic states, Binning helped to make a persuasive case in the offices of Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Majority Leader and the only Jewish Republican currently serving in Congress. Find out more about Museum Advocacy Day and ways that you can help spread the word.

New Home for Jewish Museum in British Columbia


The Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia, the preeminent body for collecting and sharing community memory of Jewish life in the province, has moved to Vancouver's Peretz Center for Secular Jewish Culture.  Here, the JMABC is JMABC just above, below, or down the hall from numerous other social and cultural agencies, like Bravo Dance, Independent Jewish Voices, Jewish Food Bank, Kol Halev PerformanJMABC-Peretzce Ensemble, MOST/Bridge Russian Seniors, Outlook Magazine, and the Vancouver Jewish Film Festival.  The new quarters are sure to brim with energy; and they may offer opportunities for cultural exchanges, collaborations, and partnerships.  The JMABC is under the auspices of the Jewish Historical Society of British Columbia.

CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You
Mizel Road TripCAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at ourannual conference.  CAJM models professional standards, offers opportunities for information exchange, and works on behalf of Jewish museums, like the Mizel Museum in Denver, Colorado (Right: Image from new permanent exhibition, 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks).  
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