Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | May 2012  
In This Issue
Host Chair for Conference
Franklin is Honored
Museums with Blue Stars
Two Anniversaries
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 local Host Chair during next year's annual conference in New York will be Susan Chevlowe, Chief Susan ChevloweCurator and Museum Director of the Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection at The Hebrew Home at Riverdale (below left, image from current exhibition, Jonathan Hammer: Kovno-Kobe). A former curator at The Jewish Museum, New York, Chevlowe has organized more than two dozen exhibitions in the past twenty years. She received her Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate Center of the Derfner-HammerCity University of New York, and she also teaches in the Jewish Art and Visual Culture program at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Susan joins the planning team with conference Co-Chairs Josh Perelman, Chief Curator & Director of Exhibitions and Collections at the National Museum of American Jewish History; Anita Kassof, Deputy Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage; and Andrew Ingall, Program Officer for the Arts at the Foundation for Jewish Culture.



Karen FranklinKaren Franklin was formerly also Director of the Judaica Museum at The Hebrew Home for over 20 years, during which time she was elected the first CAJM representative to serve on the Board of the American Association of Museums. She continues to mICOM logoake us proud and to represent our organization. At the business meeting and luncheon of ICOM-US (the U.S. branch of the International Council of Museums) that was held at the recent AAM conference in Minneapolis, Franklin was conferred with what is ICOM's highest honor, the International Service Citation. This award was made in recognition of her contributions to international cooperation among museums and scholars in the field of Holocaust-era property restitution. It is hard to imagine anyone more deserving. For many years, while also consulting with the Leo Baeck Institute and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and working as a genealogist for private clients, she has helped maintain and strengthen CAJM's ties to our European colleagues. We are indebted to her for her service to CAJM as a past Chair and on our behalf as an ambassador to the larger museum world.



Pop quiz: What do these eleven CAJM museums have in common? The Holocaust Memorial Center (MI), Holocaust Museum Houston (TX), Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center (IL), The Jewish Museum (NY), Jewish Museum of Maryland (MD), Jewish Museum Milwaukee (WI), Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art (OK), Museum of Jewish Heritage (NY), Museum of Tolerance (CA), Skirball Cultural Center (CA) and Zimmer Children's Museum (CA). This symbolBlue Star

provides a clue. And the answer?  Along with, surely, many other things, they Soldiers at museum are participating in the Blue Star Museums initiative. This joint project of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,500 museums across America offers free admission to all active-duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day (and, in some cases, all year round). There is a special focus on the approximately 1 million children who have had at least one parent deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq. The program offers these families a chance to visit museums when many will have limited resources and limited time to be together. Your museum can still be a part of this worthwhile and patriotic program - even if you don't charge admission. Read more about it.


Road TripOne of our longstanding members, the Mizel Museum in Denver, Colorado, is celebrating a big anniversary. The museum was founded in 1982 at the BMH Synagogue by the congregation's rabbi. According to current Executive Director Ellen Premack,it did not take long for the museum's vision and reputation to grow, and it ultimately became an independent entity. Mizel kidsThe creation of the Bridges of Understanding exhibition in 1992 was a significant milestone that engendered an ongoing program in intercultural education. Examining Native American, African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian Pacific, and Muslim, as well as Jewish cultures, Bridges fosters tolerance and encourages community involvement Babi Yar parkand inclusivity. In 2004, the museum relocated to the Rodef Shalom Synagogue; dropped the word "Judaica" from its name; and extended its mission to encompass a new Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (The CELL) and to steward local Babi Yar Park (left). Two years ago, the museum created what is now its centerpiece, the innovative 4,000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks, with special school and public programs that relate to the 17 subjects contained within. One fun way that the Mizel is marking its anniversary year: free admission on the 30th day of each month.



Across the continent, on New York's Lower East Side, the Museum at Eldridge Street is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the historic synagogue (left) that is its focus.  In fact, this Jewish mRose windowuseum has often linked big occasions with special dates.ESS facade The Eldridge Street Project (MAES's precursor) was founded when the Eldridge Street Synagogue was 100 years old.  A massive restoration effort was completed when the building turned 120; and now, at 125, there is lots more to celebrate, including last year's completion of a spectacular new rose window, designed by Kiki Smith and Egg RollsDeborah Gans (above).  The  125th anniversary festivities have included a cornerstone celebration, a scholar in residence, a collective time capsule, and a major gala on May 24th. Continuing with the party theme, a popular favorite returns to Eldridge Street next month: the colorful Egg Rolls and Egg Creams Festival (right).    


CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

Mural of KKBE founding

CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at our annual conference; models professional standards; offers opportu-nities for information exchange; and works on behalf of Jewish museums and museums with Jewish content.  One of them is the museum at  Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in Charleston, SC, the fourth oldest Jewish congregation in the continental United States (after New York, Newport, and Savannah). Items on display include record books of the congregation dating from 1800, an original painting of the 1792 synagogue's interior by Solomon N. Carvalho, and prayer books used by members in 1766. Above, a mural depicting the congregation's founding. See what other Jewish museums are presenting across North America by visiting CAJM's At Our Museums page.  

Decalogue, Rembrandt



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