Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | April 2012  
In This Issue
A New York Conference in 2013
Grossman Heads East
Change of Leadership at JMM
CAJM Breakfast at AAM '12
Jewish Museums and Google
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.



NYC subway

It is always exciting when CAJM returns to New York City, as the organization will do once again next year. Our conference has not taken place in the  

Big Apple since 2009 - and, with the emphasis on "big", CAJM 2013 will 


feature three Co-Chairs. They are, in alphabetical order and left to right, below: Andrew Ingall, Program officer for the Arts at the Foundation for Jewish Culture and, for many years, media archivist and producer/curator of concerts, talks, public programs and video exhibitions at The Jewish Museum; Anita Kassof, Deputy  Andy 2AnitaDirector atJosh the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, who previously 

held a comparable position at the Jewish Museum of Maryland; and Josh Perelman, Deputy Director for Exhibitions, Programs, and Collections at the National Museum of American Jewish History and a previous CAJM conference Co-Chair and Host Chair. Mark your calendars (March 3-5, 2013), save the dates, and look for additional details on conference planning activities in future e-news editions. 



As we write, one of CAJM's founders, Grace Cohen Grossman, is set to move from LGrace 2os Angeles to Washington, DC, leaving the full-time curatorial position she has held at the Skirball Cultural Center since 1983.  She is on sabbatical prior to her retirement from the Skirball in October, when she will return for the installation and opening of the exhibition Creating the United States. Grace, who has published some of the most essential texts in and about the Jewish museum field, established institutional collecting precedents in the area of Jewish Americana and ephemera,Grace book and curated countless pace-setting exhibitions, has been an inspiration to her peer and junior colleagues.  Prior to joining the Skirball, Grace began her Jewish museum career at the American Jewish Historical Society and was then, for 11 years, at the Spertus Museum in Chicago. Since the 1970s she has also served as an adjunct curator at the Smithsonian Institution, where she curated the Judaica collection at the National Museum of American History. In preparation for her DC move, Grace arranged for her vast Jewish art library, accumulated over 40 years, to become part of the University of Pennsylvania libraries, and approximately 800 auction catalogues have gone to a private collector in Israel. Although she reports that the primary reason for the relocation is to be with family, Grace looks forward to future projects with her long-time CAJM colleagues. We do, too - and we send all best wishes, great new beginnings, and sincere thanks.



The Board and members of CAJM congratulate their long-time colleague and friend Avi Decter as he Aviretires in June from serving as Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Prior to taking on that challenge, this specialist in interpretive planning and program development held leadership positions at the H.F. DuPont Winterthur Museum and Gardens, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian.  As founder and principal of History Now, he worked on core exhibitions at the NMAH, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Jewish Museum, and Lowell National Historic Park, among numerous other cultural institutions.  Avi was a senior consultant to the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for 21 years.  At the JMM, he oversaw the museum's extensive growth in program, staff, budget and audiences; managed a two-year archaeological and historical analysis of the Lloyd Street Synagogue; secured more than $1 million in public funds to restore the building; and helped the museum acquire adjacent property for expansion.  Avi, who continues as CAJM Treasurer through the completion of his term, has served the JMM, CAJM and our field brilliantly for many years. Our very best wishes.



Marvin D. Pinkert succeeds Avi Decter as Executive Director at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Pinkert brings to this position degrees in English, Asian studies, and Pinkertmuseum management; experience in museums, academia, and development; and an avocational interest in game and puzzle design (fun!). Most recently, he served as Director of the National Archives Experience, where he led the effort to envision and develop the visitor environment on the National Mall surrounding America's Charters of Freedom. This included a transformation and branding plan for the National Archives and Records Administration, as well as oversight of new programs, exhibitions, and various aspects of institutional advancement. Earlier in his career, Pinkert served as Vice President for Programs at the Museum of Science and Industry, University Secretary at Long Island University, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations at Brandeis University, Information Officer for the USIA, and an independent consultant. We know that, with these credentials, he, too, will make enormous contributions to this important CAJM  member museum.  A hearty welcome. 



Bagel or danish?  Please join us for breakfast at AAM. If you are planning to be part of "Creative Community," the American Association of Museum's Annual Meeting in Minneapolis next week (April 29-May 2), we hope that you will make a point of attending CAJM's early meal and meeting, scheduled for Monday, April 30. This is a great chancAAM logoe to touch base with colleagues, particularly if you were not

Minn sculpture with us at the recent CAJM  conference, as well as to make new friends from around the world. During the conference, Executive Director Joanne Marks Kauvar will also be attending the Council of Affiliates' annual meeting. This gathering allows our leadership to compare practices and news with other museum consortia, who share organizational and communication challenges similar to our own. (r., sculpture in a Minneapolis park)


Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM) will again be celebrated proudly in the month of May.  President Barack Obama will hold an event at The White House to commemorate the contributions that Jewish Americans have made to the fabric of our country, and he will issue a proclamation to that effect.  CAJM member institutions are encouraged to post related exhibitions and events on the JAHM website. The website also features the 50 STATES/50 STORIES collection, which highlights regional Jewish history, people, art, and culture. Submissions for this section are also welcome. Follow JAHM on twitter #JAHM@USAJewish.  



Google's ambitious Art Project is providing a new window into museums for "visitors" who are taking virtual tours of institutions that they may never have the opportunity to see in person. Thus far Google has partnered with 151 great institutions in 40 countriJerome, Wailinges. Three of them are the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (l., Jerome's painting The Wailing Wall), the Jewish Museum London (upper r., Jewish Bakers Union banner), and Vuillard LucyThe Jewish Museum in New York (lower r., Vuillard's Lucy Hessel Reading). In addition to "touring," online users can explore thousands of artworks at brushstroke-level detail and build collections of their own to share with others. We invite you to visit these colleagues, of whom we are very proud, on the Art Project, and to consider adding your own collections to this extraordinary web-based resource.  



CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

WSJHS sports

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 Washington State Jewish Historical Society in Seattle (an image from the organization's Instant Replay sports exhibit to right). See what other Jewish museums are presenting across North America by visiting CAJM's At Our Museums page.  
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