Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | February 2012  
In This Issue
Civil Rights Exhibit at Conference
Kansas City Welcomes Cain
Fried Joins Alaska Museum
Thinking Harder About Civil Rights
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.


Countdown ... it's less than two weeks to CAJM's Annual Conference, Place and Purpose: Jewish Museums and Community Development, February 26-28, 2012 in and around Detroit, Michigan. A highlight of the conference will be a field trip to one of America's preeminent history museums: The Henry Ford. This 240-acre complex encompasses indoor, outdoor, and living Ford, With Libertyhistory experiences, all devoted to "invention, innovation, and our country's defining historic moments." At The Henry Ford Museum, attendees will have a chance to see With Liberty and Justice for All, a major exhibition that examines the evolution of American freedom from the Revolutionary War through continuing struggles for civil rights. The subject is so important, and the material (artifacts and multimedia elements) so provocative, that we will "debrief" with two stimulating concurrent sessions immediately after (see further below).  



Well, not entirely new. In fact, Marcus Cain has served as Curator of the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art since 2007. With Eileen Garry's retirement late last year, the Board enthusiastically offered the position of Executive Director to Marcus. KCJMCA, foundedCain, M by Sybil and Norman Kahn in 1991, partners with Overland Park's Village Shalom, whichKCJMCA Epsten houses the museum's Epsten Gallery exhibition program. A Museum Without Walls outreach program brings the organization's cultural, educational, and exhibition resources to a variety of venues in the area. Cain is inspired by all aspects of the KCJMCA, which sets out to engage seniors and audiences from all segments of the community; enrich lives; and "celebrate our common humanity through art."  He brings particular sensitivity to working with artists, as he is an artist himself.  Cain holds a BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute, and his work has been well-received in KC gallery exhibitions.



Another museum professional with an undergraduate degree in fine art, Leslie Fried joins CAJM's ranks as the recently-appointed Curator, Researcher and Exhibit Developer at the Alaska Jewish Historical Museum & Cultural Center in Anchorage. Leslie obtained an MLIS and Graduate 

Rendering, AJHMCC building 

Certificate iFried, Ln Museology from the University of Washington and previously worked at the Washington State Jewish Historical Society in Seattle. She brings rich experience in historical research, exhibit design, educational programming, and library cataloguing and archival work. At the AJHMCC, her current priorities include a traveling exhibit on Ruth Gruber and a permanent Operation Magic Carpet Alaska exhibit. Fried looks forward to "creating connections between people" through the interpretation of history and memory, community outreach, and educational programming.



Following their visit to With Liberty and Justice For All at The Henry Ford on Monday, February 27, conference participants will choose between two sessions that will probe more deeply iRosenbaum, Jnto the Paula Mexhibition and its context. The first will examine how hands-on and virtual educational approaches to the Civil Rights Movement provide case studies for how museums can use stories of particular communities to engage audiences in larger narratives about justice, identity, and social change. Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan; Paula Gangopadhyay (above, l.) Director of Education at The Henry Ford; Lanesha Debardelaben, Director of Archives & Libraries at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; and Judith Rosenbaum (above, r.), Director of Public History at the Jewish Women's Archive, will consider "Where the Endelman, JParticular Encounters the Universal: The Civil Rights Movement In Museum Decter, AEducation." In a concurrent program session, Avi Decter (below, r.), Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, will moderate "Critiquing the Show." Panelists Anita Kassof, Deputy Director, Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust; Zachary Paul Levine, Assistant Curator, Yeshiva University Museum; and two staff members of The Henry Ford, Curator and Exhibit Developer Donna R. Braden and Judith Endelman (above, l.), Director of the Benson Ford Research Center, will discuss the exhibition from the visitor viewpoint, looking at themes, interpretation, script, object selection, design, and media.   


CAJM Puts the Spotlight on YouJHM Reutlinger

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 Jewish Heritage Museum at the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville, CA, a multi-level senior care center. The substantial Ruth and Max Eis Collection of Judaica (an item from which, to right.) forms the core of the museum's holdings, which are exhibited throughout common areas, enhancing and beautifying the RCJL environment for residents, families, and visitors. See what other Jewish museums are presenting across North America by visiting CAJM's At Our Museums page.  
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