Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | June-July 2012  
In This Issue
Museum-University Merger
Two New Directors
CAJM at the White House
Appeal to Congress
Next Year's Conference
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.



CAJM counts among its members several seminaries and universities that maintain a Jewish museum or gallery. However, last month, a shidduch took place between two independent institutions, Florida International University and the Jewish Museum of Florida, that should benefit all JMoFconcerned and strengthen the resources of both. The university will continue the operations of the museum, now to be known as the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and it will relocate some academic programs, including Judaic Studies, to the museum location in Miami Beach. As part of this merger, the museum is gifting to the university its two adjacent Art Deco-style buildings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as its collection documenting 250 years of Jewish art, culture, and history in the state, its research library, endowment, and other assets. According to museum Executive Director Jo Ann Arnowitz, "Our synergy and mutual commitment to exploring the richness and diversity of Jewish life in Florida makes this a perfect match."  FIU has experience in the museum field as home to the Frost Art Museum and overseer of the Wolfsonian.



The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters have each announced the appointment of new executive directors. At the Maltz in Beachwood, OH, Lynda Bender (left), former Director of Education and Public Programs for the museum, has succeeded Judi FenigerBenderRecently, Bender was responsible for the launch of the annual "Stop the Hate - Youth Speak Out!" essay competition that offers $100,000 in scholarships and prizes for junior high and high school students to offer solutions for eradicating hatred and discrimination.  She served as Co-Chair of the the 2008 CAJM conference. Prior to joining the Maltz in 2005, she was Deputy BornsteinDirector at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland.  In Newton, MA, Carrie Bornstein (r.) has succeeded Founding Director Aliza Kline at Mayyim Hayyim.  According to the organization's Chair Anita Diamant, she has been an integral part of the organization for the past six years, beginning as a volunteer Mikveh Guide and Educator, then becoming the first full-time Mikveh Center Director, and later Assistant Director. Since last August, when Kline began a sabbatical, Bornstein has served as Acting Executive Director. (As a side note, Leah Hart Tennen, daughter of former CAJM Chair Macy B. Hart, is the current Mikeveh Center Director).  Mazel tov to all. 



On May 30th, at a White House reception for Jewish American Heritage Month hosted by President Barack Obama, several directors of CAJM museums were in attendance; among them, Laura Apelbaum of theObama at JAHM reception Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington/Lillian & Albert Small Museum (below, with Gary Zola, Director of the American Jewish Archives); Jo Ann Arnowitz and Marcia Zerivitz of the Jewish Museum of Florida; Ivy Barsky of the National Museum of American Jewish History, David Marwell of the Museum of Jewish Heritage/A Living Memorial to the Holocaust; Gail Twersky Reimer of the Jewish Women's Archive, and Carole Zawatsky of the Washington DC JCCApelbaum had particular occasion to be  proud.  She had suggested that President Ulysses S. Grant's infamous Apelbaum and American Jewish Archives director Gary Zola Orders No. 11 for expulsion of the Jews during the Civil War and President Abraham Lincoln's revocation of that order serve as a theme for this year's events, and that they be included in a Library of Congress exhibition. The subject was indeed front and center at the White House reception, in President Obama's remarks, and in an accompanying exhibit that included a receipt for Grant's $10 donation to the building fund for the Adas Israel Synagogue in 1876 (now the Small Museum).  Read Laura's blog about the event.



... and next month would be a good time. The American Association of Museums has declared August 11-18 as Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum Week. According to AAM President Ford W. Bell, this is "the perfect opportunity for Congress to learn first-hand how museums provide essential community services ... particularly at a time when state AAM logobudgets are being squeezed, and non-essential funding is being slashed." The AAM's handy guide can help you find out the names of your representatives in Congress,  shape an appropriate invitation letter, and contact a scheduler at your Senator or Representative's local office to set a date.  Let's demonstrate the importance of our Jewish museums, and convince those who are in power that, like other museums across the country, they deserve a significant Federal investment.  



In  Will GrossmanApril, Will Grossman, Operations Director at the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina, died at the age of 67.  Grossman was born in Czernovitz, Ukraine in 1945, the son of Holocaust survivors. The family emigrated from Israel to Brooklyn thirteen years later, where Grossman developed a love for baseball and the arts, particularly photography.  After moving to Durham in 1971, he was the owner of Northgate Camera Center before joining the Jewish Heritage Foundation.  At the JHF, Grossman worked to promote Jewish art at the Judea Reform Congregation's Rosenzweig Gallery and helped to launch the statewide exhibit Down Home:  Jewish Life in North Carolina.  Our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. May his memory be for a blessing.



  Group in lobbyNYC skyline
CAJM's next annual conference will take place in New York City, March 3-5, 2013.  Mark your
calendars and plan to be with us for creative explorations, thought-provoking presentations, and the camaraderie of old friends and new. Follow e-news and our website for updates. 


CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

Judaica Museum, TBS

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 Judaica Museum of Temple Beth Shalom in Sarasota, FL (right). See what other Jewish museums are presenting across North America by visiting CAJM's At Our Museums page.  
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