Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | April 2011 
In This Issue
Detroit in 2012
Listen to the Conference
New NMAJH Director Selected
CAJM Museums Celebrate Pesach
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.


After two "coastal" conferences, we can now report that next winter's annual gathering will take place in the lively city and surrounding suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, February 26-28, 2012.  CardinDetroit's cultural institutions rival those of Philadelphia and LA, and include the  Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum oGoldmanf African American History, the Arab American National Museum, and, yes, the Motown Museum. The town's wealth of Jewish resources include four CAJM member institutions:  the Holocaust Memorial Center, the Janice Charach Gallery and Shalom Street children's museum (both located at the JCC of Metropolitan Detroit, also home to the new Berman Center for the Performing Arts), and the Temple Israel Judaic & Archival Museum.  Our Conference Co-Chairs are Deborah Cardin (above l.) of the Jewish MuseuStearnm of Maryland and Josh Perelman (below l.) of the National Museum of American Jewish History, both of whom played stellar roles for the recent Philadelphia conferencePerelmanLocal Host Chairs Stephen Goldman (above r.) of the Holocaust Memorial Center and Terri Stearn (right) of the Janice Charach Gallery raised our enthusiasm with their spirited presentation at CAJM 2011; and, according to Elie Wiesel, Detroit's close-knit community of 60,000 Jews "leads the way in outreach and support" - of fellow Jews and of the metropolis' sizable multiethnic populationWe look forward to learning a lot from our friends in the Midwest.  Save the dates: Sunday through Tuesday, February 26th-28th.



Even If you were with us, you may have missed excellent, informative concurrent sessions. The consensus is that there were simply too many good choices! This year, though, CAJM members can listen to crystal NMAJH atriumclear audio recordings of every plenary session, panel, and workshop that took place at our home base, the National Museum of American Jewish History. Just follow this link to Listen In. You can also peruse photographs from the conference at our Conference Picture GalleryFor both of these member benefits, you will need to first log onto the website with your password; the audio and photo pages are found in Member Resources. Please write to if you need assistance.  Think of it:  whether at your desk, in a car, or on a treadmill, what better opportunity to hear more from colleagues and national experts - and to brainstorm sessions for next year?



The  Trustees and CEO of the National Museum of American Jewish History have announced the appointment of Ivy L. Barsky as the institution's new Gwen Goodman Museum Director and Chief Operating Officer.  Barsky will have overall responsibility for museum collections, exhibitions, education, programs, and visitor services. Her distinguished career has included work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art (also in Philadelphia), P.S.1 in 


New York, and, as most CAJM colleagues already know, the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, where she has served since 1996, most recently as Deputy Director. She founded MJH's Education Department; was instrumental in the planning of the museum's subsequent expansion; provided overall supervision of its award-winning special exhibitions, some of which she curated; and managed numerous special projects, including Andy Goldsworthy's "Garden of Stones" installation and the Keeping History Center. Barsky is an Adjunct Professor in the Museum Studies Program at NYU.  She will assume her position at NMAJH on Independence Mall just in time to celebrate the nation's birthday, on July 1.  We wish her countless successes as she takes on this new challenge.



A short browse of member websites will turn up an inspiring array of special programs to mark this week's Spring festival.  Many of our institutions offer model seders for school children andJCM matzah "real" ones for their communities.  Jewish Museum Milwaukee designed a seder and curriculum especially for home school families in their region.  Unleavened cookery events have included a Passover dessert tasting at the Skirball Cultural Center, featuring a dessert "architect," and a matzah-baking program for kids at the Jewish Children's Museum (above right), after which the products were sent on to soldiers overseas.  A lecture at the Jewish Museum of Maryland explored the battle by Jews and Egyptians over the Passover narrative 2,000 years ago. Schiff, Cine-Seder There was also literary art-making at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, where children wrote Freedom Poems in concrete, and at the Koffler Centre of the Arts, a screening and panel focused on artist Melissa Schiff's Pesach-themed installations, including Cine-Seder (right).  If your museum offers creative holiday programs, please tell us about them, so that we can feature them in a future e-news or along with other good ideas on our Member Resources pages.   

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CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at our annual conference;models professional standards; offers opportunities for information exchange; and works on behalf of Jewish museums and museums with Jewish content, like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.  
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