Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | July-August 2014   
In This Issue
Simon to CAJM 2015
On the International Front
Award Winners
Advocate in August
Shopping Around
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.



That's how Smithsonian Magazine has described Nina Simon for her innovative approach to museums, communities, and design. Nina, an internationally-recognized expert on active community participation in cultural institutions, has received the American Alliance of Museums' Nancy Hanks Memorial Award (2012) and was named one of the 50 most "powerful and influential people in nonprofit arts" by the Western States Arts Federation in 2012 and 2013. She is the author of The Participatory Museum (2010), and her Museum 2.0 blog is must reading for anyone interested in making their institutions relevant ... and rollicking. At the conference, Nina will facilitate an opening exercise to get participants thinking about our intriguing theme: Open Source: Jewish Museums and Collaborative Culture. The event will convene in San Francisco, March 8-10, 2015.



Karen S. Franklin has returned to the Leo Baeck Institute as director of the Family Research Project. Karen, a past CAJM steering committee chair and AAM board member, has often served as a liaison to the international Jewish museum community. She has taken on a new role as Chair of the Memorial Museum Committee of ICOM, the International Council of MuseumsThe committee should be of particular interest to CAJM's Holocaust-oriented institutions. Find out more about ICMEMO and its annual meeting, which will take place in Norway this September. ICOM represents more than 30,000 museums and museum professionals throughout the world. And, to keep up on what Jewish museum colleagues in Europe, specifically, are doing and thinking about, here is a recent newsletter from AEJM, the Association of European Jewish Museums.



Congratulations to several CAJM members, who came away from the recent  American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting with prestigious awards. The Gold Muse Award for interactive projects went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and C&G Partners for Some Were Neighbors. According to the judges, this experience incorporated many levels of narrative, images, video, and text to great effect." WithIn the Design Competitions, the Skirball Cultural Center received second prize in the Book Design category for A Place of Welcome: Celebrating the Skirball Cultural Center, designed by Christopher Muņiz. Our colleagues at the Rosenbach Museum & Library received second prize in the Supplementary Material category for Letters from Afar, a project between the Museum and the Fort Dix Elementary School, designed by Andrea Hemman / GHI Design.



Every August the AAM recommends a focus on advocating for your museum and for Federal arts funding in general. In fact, they have designated August 9-16, when Congress is in recess, as "Invite Congress to Visit Your Museum" week. AAM makes it easy for you to take action. This online form helps you communicate with your legislators, and this handy guide helps you organize for the visit. Remind your representatives how critical the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Institute of Museum and Library Services are to furthering artistic creation, scholarship, and America's cultural life.



Not every CAJM museum is equipped with a store, but for many of them, a retail operation is critical to budget and is essential for attracting visitors. This blog post from the Center for the Future of Museums provides an overview of striking changes ahead - or already in place - at such establishments. It addresses ways shops are integrating with museum missions, technological advances, and entirely new purposes for museum retail. Many of the trends, including personalization, accessibility of digital resources, new forms of currency, the rise of the maker movement, and the "sharing economy" will be on the agenda at our 2015 conference. The article also mentions discussion over the suitability of a shop at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum(Above left: a visitor at the Dallas Museum of Art shop accesses information; above right, a unique seder plate in the Museum Store at the National Museum of American Jewish History)



Current crowdsourcing campaigns being conducted by two of our members have led us to wonder how widespread this fundraising method has become among CAJM institutions. Please let us know whether you have used crowdsourcing and, if so, how successful it has proven to be for you. Visit the Jewish Museum and Archives of British Columbia and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust to find out more about an Indiegogo campaign for a new website showcasing collections and a Kickstarter campaign dedicated to a new documentary film.



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 is the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan (right). With a motto of "Illuminating the Past - Enlightening the Future," the Museum has been teaching about the Holocaust and its legacy for more than 25 years.


Have you had difficulty logging onto the members-only pages of the CAJM website? If so, please contact us so that we can help you out.


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