Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | March 2012  
In This Issue
Conference Report
Belasco and Gozani Elected
Reciprocity at CAJM Museums
CAJM on Facebook
Changes at NMAJH
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.


Last month's annual conference of the Council of American Jewish Museums in Detroit showcased the best of that remarkable city, as well as an array of scholarly and creative talent. The lively three-day gathering began with Deborah Dash Moore's thoughtful keynote, which interwove Jewish migration and demographics with the historic evolution of American cities, and ended with a panel of civic and cultural leaders committed to revitalizing the Motor City. One strength of the 201DIA courtyard2 conference was the astute matching of conference sessions and site-visit settings. Two panels presented at The Henry Ford keyed off of its exhibition on the Civil Rights Movement. At the Arab American National Museu2012 Talking circlem our members compared notes on "Curating the 21st Century" with colleagues from this marvelous ethnic-specific peer institution. A profound session on the interpretation of Holocaust history as it grows more remote in time was held at the Holocaust Memorial Center. The concluding plenary took place at the magnificent Detroit Institute of Arts(above), an institution that has exemplified the role that cultural institutions can take in energizing cities. There was lots to talk about, which made the Talking Circles (right) especially productive. And these are but a fraction of the wonderful locations visited and the timely issues discussed at CAJM 2012. 



At the conference's Town Hall Meeting, a new slate of CAJM officers was elected. Melissa Martens, Museum of Jewish Heritage, assumes the position of Chair, succeeding Judith Margles, Oregon Jewish Museum, who becomes Immediate Past Chair.  Deborah Cardin, Jewish Museum of Maryland, succeeds Melissa Martens as Vice-Chair.  Avi Decter, Jewish Museum of Maryland, remains Treasurer, and independent consultant Lynette Allen will continue as Secretary. Rotating off the board were independent consultants Gabriel Goldstein (a former CAJM chair) and Louis D. Levine. Two Gozaninew members were elected to the board. Tal Gozani (left), currently Vice President, Young Adult Engagement & Leadership Development at  The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, was previously Senior Program Officer at the Belasco 3-12Righteous Persons Foundation and Curator at the Skirball Cultural Center (where she served as 2010 CAJM Conference Host Chair). Gozani is co-author of Romance and Ritual: Celebrating the Jewish Wedding and has published several articles on modern art and Jewish history. Exhibitions she curated at the Skirball include R.B Kitaj: Passion and Memory and Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Children's Picture BooksDaniel Belasco (right), Henry J. Leir Assistant Curator at The Jewish Museum in New York, is an art historian specializing in postwar and contemporary art and design. His TJM exhibitions include Reinventing Ritual: Contemporary Art and Design for Jewish Life and Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism, and he was co-curator of SITE Santa Fe's 8th International Biennial. Belasco has contributed to many contemporary art catalogues and published essays and reviews in numerous art journals, and is completing a book on feminist consciousness in New York School art.


Also at the conference's Town Hall Meeting, an exciting and long-awaited program was announced. In coming months, CAJM will serve as coordinator of a reciprocal museum membership program that will allow participating institutions' higher-level members and donors to receive free admission at mJMMD Chosenany other museums in the CAJM network - like the Jewish Museum of Maryland (image from the institution's Chosen Food exhibition, left). The program is an incentive tool for our museums to use to stimulate memberships and donations; a way of encouraging visitation to Jewish museums by other museums' members, donors, and trustees; a vehicle for promoting the North American network of Jewish museums to the general public; and an additional benefit of belonging to CAJM. Eligible institutions will have the opportunity to opt in or opt out, and to customize requirements as best suits their needs and local communities. This will be a wonderful way to help make our collective resources available to the widest possible public.  Stay tuned - further details will be sent to institutional directors and membership staff.



Speaking of reciprocity, we hope that you will "like" CAJM's new Facebook page, launched last month. (We have "liked" all of our member institutions that have a page of their own; please let us know if we happen to have missed yours). More important, we hope that you will take advantage of the opportunities this social network provides for expanding our organization's reach to the wider world, and for carrying on conversations among our institutional and individual members.  Our wall is primarily a place for the organization's news, but it will also draw attention to the dozens of Jewish museums in the U.S. and Canada.Talking Circle 3 For example, you will find a number of photo galleries that highlight specific museums, collections, and activities. FYI, although the page is "about" CAJM and we might include pictures like these, our policy will be not to identify individuals in them. We are sure that you will have wonderful suggestions for strengthening the page and expanding its reach, and we will be looking for volunteers to post regularly and keep our content current. If you have a Facebook page of your own, you should have no problem finding us at "Council of American Jewish Museums," or use this link. While Facebook is streamlining some of its own new procedures, you may find yourself on a log-in page. Let us know if you run into any difficulties and, generally, tell us what you think.



The Board of Trustees of the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) has announced that Michael Rosenzweig, who has served as its President and CEO since April 2009, will step down from his position effective June 30. Ivy Barsky (left, moderating a Detroit conference session), who joined the NMAJH staff in 2011, will assume leadership of the museum as GwenNMAJH Goodman Director and Chief Executive Officer. Under Rosenzweig's leadership, the museum completed its building (right) and $155 m. capital campaign, opening in Ivy panelNovember 2010 to critical and popular acclaim.  CAJM is indebted to Rosenzweig for NMAJH's hosting of the 2011 conference. In announcing Barsky's appointment, Museum Co-Chair Philip Darivoff said she is, "an exceptional choice as the next leader for the National Museum of American Jewish History. She has an inspiring vision for the museum, the requisite leadership and managerial skills, and a commitment to audience and community engagement that are ideal for leading us into the future." Barsky previously served as Deputy Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.



An article in CAJM's February 2012 E-News reported that Leslie Fried, newly-hired curator for the Alaska Jewish Museum, included among her current priorities a traveling exhibit on journalist Ruth Gruber. The International Center of Photography in New York has requested a clarification: "The Alaska Jewish Museum is still in negotiations with the ICP, where the Ruth Gruber retrospective originated and is currently being developed into a larger traveling exhibit."


CA Goldsmith

CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

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 Goldsmith Museum at Chizuk Amuno Congregation (right) in Baltimore. See what other Jewish museums are presenting across North America by visiting CAJM's At Our Museums page.  
Meet new colleagues & grow

your skills:

Become a Member
Stay current:
Join Our Mailing List