Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | August-September 2012  
In This Issue
Conference Theme Announced
New Director in Tulsa
CAJM Impact Study
Getting to Know MOTNY
Changes at the AAM
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.



New York is a city of museums - and a city of muses - an interplay captured in the theme for our 2013 conference, The City as Muse/um. The gathering will provide fresh perspectives on New York and encourage participants to consider the many ways cities inspire creative endeavors of all kinds. Rockefeller Center An array of speakers, excursions, interactions, and experiences will help us examine questions such as these: How do Jewish memory Taxi and history shape our cities? How do the artists, performers, and thinkers who live, work, and play in cities enrich and interpret urban life? How do museums - Jewish and other- reflect the cities in which they are located? How do cities influence exhibition practices inside and outside of museums? The upcoming conference will tap the energies of New York City and beyond, exploring creative processes within our profession and the ways urban landscapes serve as "muse/ums" in and of themselves.  Save the date, March 3-5, follow our e-news, and visit the CAJM website for more exciting details.



We are pleased to welcome Drew Diamond, the "new" Director of the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art. The quotation marks relate to the fact that Drew has long been affiliated with the museum through his involvement with the Jewish Federation of Tulsa and its comprehensive campus, which includes the museum. He was recruited as Director of the Federation 20 months ago, and was recently Diamond, Sherwin Millercharged with oversight of the museum, its activities, finances, staff, and corps of 70 volunteers. Some might consider the Sherwin Miller a surprising place for Diamond to have  landed, given a career with stops at the FBI and as Tulsa's Chief of Police, but our new CAJM colleague is simply delighted. He thinks the museum is in a terrific position, with exhibitions planned for two years out, admission and membership counts up, and a number of important projects, such as the "Any Given Child" program bringing all 7th graders in the Tulsa area to the museum for an introduction to Jewish culture and Holocaust history. Diamond's favorite part of the job?  "Witnessing the 'a-ha!' moments people have when they come to visit."



Our organization is embarking on the first impact study of Jewish museums, undCAJM squareer the leadership of a special board task force headed by Zahava Doering, Senior Social Scientist at the Smithsonian Institution. CAJM's membership has grown eleven-fold since the organization's founding 35 years ago, making this a crucial time to assess the significance of the proliferation and expansion of Jewish museums in recent decades. An essential component of the impact study is a comprehensive survey currently being conducted with institutional heads. If you are a museum director, your responses are extremely important to us.  Please be sure to contribute your information and opinions.



Many CAJM members have visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, open since 1993. A new MOT campus in Jerusalem is now under construction. By contrast, the second Museum of Tolerance, located in New York City since 2003, may have received insufficient attention. Perhaps this is because the institution was initially devoted to private training for educators and law enforcement. In 2010, the museum opened to the public, and it is now reMOTNYceiving steady traffic of interested tourists and organized groups, from middle school and graduate school classes to seniors. With redoubled marketing efforts, Director of Operations and Community Affairs Adam Rudich anticipates a steady growth in public awareness and new participants for three "Tools for Tolerance" programs (for teens, educators, and law enforcement professionals) and for the cultural institution's highly interactive multi-media exhibitions. Rudich is pleased that, through their visits to MOTNY, more and more people are "leaving with a heightened sense of personal responsibility going forward," helping to make ours "an increasingly just society."



 After more thanAAM logos 100 years as the American Association of Museums, our collegial organization has rolled out a new logo and identity: the American Alliance of Museums. According to AAM President Ford Bell, the "new middle name signals our resolve to unite the entire field and speak with a  strong, clear voice in making the case that museums are essential to our communities."  Together with the branding comes new membership options, standards programs, and a Continuum of Excellence to help museums demonstrate their own commitment to excellence and gain recognition. The Alliance will continue to provide tools, information. and community for museum professionals. To find out what else is new at the AAM, you may refer to this outline of changes.  


CAJM Puts the Spotlight on You

MOT LA Women

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.  One of them is the original Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. To right, an image from the current exhibit One Person Crying: Women and War, which continues through October 18. See what other Jewish museums are presenting across North America by visiting CAJM's At Our Museums page.  


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