Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | May 2011 
In This Issue
Traveling Exhibits
Garry to Retire at KCJMCA
Successful Campaign at CJH
Jewish Museums of Detroit
Jewish American Heritage Month
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.



Three wonderful exhibitions, curated by member institutions, are making stops at a number of fellow CAJM museums once their initial onsite runs have concluded.  The Jewish Museum's fascinating exhibition, Houdini: Art and Magicrecently closed in New York and has moved on for extended stays at the Skirball in LA and the Contemporary Jewish MuseuKalmanm in San Francisco, where few will want to ... escape it.  The CJM's delightful exhibition, Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), is following the opposite itinerary.  MahJonggIn addition, the marvelous Project Mah Jongg exhibition that debuted at the Museum of Jewish Heritage last year will also delight audiences at the Oregon Jewish Museum, Maltz Museum and Jewish Museum Florida, among other hosts.  These good-sized shows may or may not be suitable or available for your local CAJM institution, but be assured that members can browse through exhibitions of all sizes, and on a range of subjects, at the Traveling Exhibitions page of the CAJM website.   



The Director of the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art (KCJMCA), Eileen Garry, Garryhas announced plans to retire at the beginning of 2012, once the organization concludes its current 20th anniversary celebrations.  Garry has been involved with the museum since its inception in 1991, having been brought into the fold by founders Sybil and Norman Kahn, and she has been involved as a founding member, volunteer assistant director and, finally, executive director since that time.  Board President Regina Kort spoke of Garry's dedication, enthusiasm and hard work, and her contributions in creating "one of the premier spaces in the Kansas City area" to showcase "up-and-coming regional and national artists."  Garry now looks forward to the next generation, the "new blood" that is needed for "any organization to make progress."  We congratulate her on her successes, thank her for her collegiality, and wish her well in coming years.



At a time when budgets are tight and economic forecasts are dim, it is a pleasure to share news that the Center for Jewish History recently completed its $30 million capital campaign and successfully retired a construction debt accrued from its opening ten years ago.  This Wedding dressimpressive fundraising feat was accomplished in a mere 15 months.  We congratulate all those who led and participated in this very encouraging accomplish- ment.  Kudos are also due the current exhibition Zero to 10, which was Larry Rivrsassembled for the Center's 10th anniversary, and which draws on the collections of all of the CJH constituent members.  Among the wondrous artifacts are a copy of Emma Lazarus' poem, The New Colossus, in her own hand and a Torah scroll that belonged to and is inscribed by the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hassidism. Also featured are this 1877 wedding dress (left) from the American Jewish Historical Society  and this Larry Rivers painting (right) from the Yeshiva University Museum collection.  



During CAJM's 2012 annual conference next February 26-28, participants will spend time at exceptional community landmarks and gathering places. Director Terri Stearn, who is serving as one of ouShalom Streetr local host co-chairs, assures us that "CAJM members will be surprised to find the largest JCC gallery at the largest JCC in the country."  She's referring to the Janice Charach Gallery, which occupies 8,000 square feet on two floors at the JCC of Metropolitan Detroit.  That institution also houses Shalom Street (right), a popular Jewish children's museum, and the new Berman Center for the Performing Arts, scheduled to open this month, and where many conference sessions will take place. The conference will also travel to Temple Israel in West Bloomfield Hills which, with more than 3,000 families, happens to be the coTemple Israel museumuntry's largest Reform synagogue. The Judaic and Archival Museum there (left) will be of special interest.  Also of note, and continuing the trend of singularity: the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills (below) was the first HMCfreestanding institution of its kind in the U.S., fulfilling a longheld dream of Rabbi Charles Rosenzweig when ground was broken for their first building in 1981. The HMC has a striking new facility, and a Wall Street Journal article has referred to this as "the most provocative Holocaust museum of them all."  Director Stephen Goldman is also local host co-chair for the conference.



Is your institution and/or your state represented in this month's Jewish American Heritage Month festivJAHM logoities?  The annual celebration is a wonderful way to draw more attention to the work carried out by Jewish museums, and to focus attention on the contributions of Jewish Americans to American culture. The JAHM site offers a calendar for posting events; the organization, led by Abby Schwartz, also sponsors curriculum development and initiatives like "50 States/50 Stories."  (You may be able to help fill a gap in that interesting feature.)  This month, the Jewish Women's Archive is tweeting articles from Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia.  The National Museum of American Jewish Military History has mounted a special exhibition, Fallen Heroes.  President Obama just hosted a second Jewish Heritage Reception at the White House, bringing together community leaders, rabbis, and government officials.  It's not too late for you to mark the occasion, as well.

CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at our anDown Homenual conference.  We model professional standards; offer opportunities for information exchange; and work on behalf of Jewish museums  like this one:  the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina, which oversees the Rosenzweig Gallery at Temple Judea in Durham and which sponsors exhibits like Down Home: Jewish Life in North Carolina (right), currently traveling throughout the state.    
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