Council of American Jewish Museums
         E-News | June 2011 
In This Issue
Detroit's the Place
Mini Survey
Comings and Goings
Conference Committee in Action
More Comings and Goings
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.


Our conference team - Co-Chairs Deborah Cardin and JosMotown studioh Perelman and Executive Director Joanne Kauvar - recently traveled to Detroit, where CAJM 2012 Host Chairs Steven Goldman and Terri Stearn arranged a busy itinerary of potential conference venues and cultural sites.  After stopping in at our four CAJM tile, Arab Americanmember institutions, they headed downtown to see the Motown Museum (right), site of Berry Gordy's former home and recording studio; met with Graham Beal, director of the Detroit Institute of Arts (below rightRivera DIA, its Diego Rivera mural); and toured the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at the invitation of its director, Juanita Moore.  The following day they explored nearby Dearborn, viewing Cranbrook's Saarinen designed campus, the vast Henry Ford Museum, and the Arab American National Museum (above left, mosaic tile).  The planning chairs were tremendously excited by the possibilities.  So much for us to look forward to ... even if, at next winter's conference, we may not be able to replicate the site visit's excursions in full:  When would there be time for sessions? 



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In July, Carole Zawatsky assumes her new role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Washington DCJCC.  A former CAJM Steering Committee member, Zawatsky has, over several decades, held important positions with five different CAJM institutions.  She led education and/or public program departments at the Skirball Museum in LA, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, The Jewish Museum in New York, and the JCC of San Francisco, and she was the first Executive Director of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland.  Some CAJM members saw the the work she accomplished there at our 2006 conference, and others may remember the creative strategies Zawatsky employed in NYC when helping the public and critics navigate some of The Jewish Museum's more challenging, boundary-stretching exhibitions. This native Washingtonian is delighted to return to her home town, where she looks forward to applying what she considers her strengths:  "making connections among organizations and communities and leveraging arts, culture and ideas to bring people together."  



The Detroit conference Program Committee held its first get-together earlier this month, and whether a reflection of our annual gathering's growing importance to membership, or a testament to the charisma of our 2012 chairs, an unprecedented 45 committee members have eagerly offered to help with planning.  Following a CAJM board meeting in New York, local committee members came to the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and out-of-towners joined in by (conference) conference call.  The Detroit-area resources alluded to in article #1 above inspired lively conversation about possible themes, programs, and new session formats to take full advantage of the art, history, and ethnic-specific cultural institutions that will be available locally.  If you have an interest in suggesting or organizing a session, or if you would like to help with the conference in some other way, you may still join the Program Committee before a July 8 deadline.  Simply contact Deborah Cardin or Josh Perelman by then.



Gail Reimer

We are proud of several colleagues who have recently received notable awards.  Gail Twersky Reimer (left), Founder and Executive Director of the Boston-based Jewish Women's Archive, received the Benjamin J. Shevach Memorial Award for leadership in Jewish education at Hebrew College's commencement ceremony in June. The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the National Museum of American Jewish History each took home two awards from the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Association of MuseumsMelissaPMJ Martens, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at MJH, received an Honorable Mention in the AAM's Brooking Paper Competition on Creativity in Museums for her essay "Working Together, Playing Together," included in the Project Mah Jongg catalogue (above right). The museum, together with C & G Partners and Second Look Productions, also received a Bronze MUSE award from the Media anCIF2d Technology Committee in the area of education and outreach for its "Coming of Age" website. The NMAJH received two Bronze MUSE awards, in the Interactive and Interpretive Exhibitions category and the Multimedia Installations category, respectively, for its Contemporary Issues Forum and Dreams of Freedom core exhibition, both shared with designers Local Projects LLC. Have you received recognition lately that others should know about?  Just tell us, and we'll spread the word.  


After a nationwide search, Jo Ann Arnowitz (below left), long-time Associate Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida, has been selected to succeed Marcia Zerivitz as Executive Director & Chief Curator.  Arnowitz, a current CAJM Board member, has been associated with the JMF since 1998.  Jo Ann ArnowitzShe brought to Miami Beach experience in development and pubGoldsteinlic relations, honed during tenures at the Israel Museum, American Friends of the Israel Museum, and the Erie Canal Museum.  She has been an active team member, helping to effect the museum's striking growth over the past decade, and she is well suited to carry on in the savvy, energetic tradition of her predecessor.  Mazel tov!  We also wish all the best to Gabriel Goldstein (right), who will soon begin an extended leave from his role as Associate Director for Exhibitions & Programs at the Yeshiva University Museum to complete his doctoral work in Decorative Arts, Design and Culture at the Bard Graduate Center in New York.  Gabe's distinguished career includes positions at The Jewish Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum, and he is an Adjunct Professor of Art History at YU's Stern College for Women and Adjunct Curator of Judaica at the North Carolina Museum of Art.  We hope that our former CAJM Chair will take the occasional break from dissertation-writing to share with us his extraordinary Judaic and material culture knowledge. We'll miss him. 

CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and Shalom Streetat our annual conference; models professional standards; offers opportunities for information exchange; and works on behalf of Jewish museums like Shalom Street (right), just one of several fine Jewish museums we will get to visit, and from whom we will learn, during the 2012 conference in Detroit.   
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