Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | October 2014   
In This Issue
On the Conference Table: Food
Welcoming a Museum to CAJM
New Museum Architecture
Exhibit From Abroad
December Deadlines
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.



Among the offerings to be sampled when we convene in the Bay Area for Open Source: Jewish Museums and Collaborative Culture (March 8-10, 2015) will be a particularly "tasty" one. Francesco Spagnolo, Curator of The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (left), has organized a tour and panel in conjunction with the exhibition Gourmet Ghettos: Modern Food Rituals. A roundtable discussion on religious and secular food rituals and their relation to ecology, food security, and social justice will feature Ariela Ronay-Jinich of Urban Adamah (center), Ann Thrupp of the Berkeley Food Institute (right), and other Berkeley historians, cookbook authors and food activists. Full details will be included in the conference brochure, available next month.



CAJM is pleased to introduce its newest institutional member:  The Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio, TX is dedicated to educating about the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy. Located within the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Jewish Campus of the San Antonio Jewish Community, the museum's exhibits and educational programming honor the memory of six million Jews and other innocent victims of the Holocaust, as well as the inspirational legacy of those who survived. We hope to meet staff and board members at a future CAJM gathering; and, if you are visiting Texas, you will find two other Holocaust-oriented institutions within our consortium: the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Holocaust Museum Houston.  



Several member museums have undertaken architectural additions or enhancements during the past year.  In late 2013, the debut of Herscher Hall and Guerin Pavilion at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles added 17,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space to architect Moshe Safdie's fifteen-acre complex, including a
9,000-square-foot ballroom that is serving a variety of educational, social, business and 
community functions. And l
ater this month, the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art in Tulsa, OK celebrates the completion of a major construction project with a "Building Bash" to launch a refashioned entryway, the new Sanditen Gallery, and the opening of the Leonard Nimoy photography exhibit Secret Selves, with a keynote by Mr. Nimoy. If you have plans to expand, refashion or relocate, please let us know. 



CAJM members may be interested to learn about a special exhibition developed for the Museo Tattile Statale Omero (Homer State Tactile Museum) in Ancona, Italy, which will soon be available for rental.  Passages: Words of Humanity Through Jewish Culture is a mixed media, multisensory installation that explores intersections of text and space in
Judaism.  It was curated by artist Andrea Socrati with support from the Jerusalem Foundation and is designed to be inviting and accessible for blind people and others with disabilities, as well as for general audiences. The exhibition integrates works by four Israeli and
two Italian artists. It will be available for display in the U.S. and Canada beginning in January 2015. Thank you to Nina Levent, author of The Multisensory Museum: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space (Alta Mira, 2014) for bringing the project to our attention.



Three important IMLS grant programs may provide opportunities 

for your institution, and they have an application deadline of Monday, December 1st. Follow these links to explore guidelines and forms for the Museums for America, National Leadership Grants for Museums, and Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums categories.  Applications to the Museum Assessment Program are also due that day. This cooperative IMLS-AAM program helps small and mid-sized museums strengthen operations, plan for the future, and meet national standards through self-study and a site visit from a peer reviewer. For example, The Temple Museum of Jewish Art, Religion & Culture in Cleveland, OH is currently engaged in a Collections Stewardship assessment. MAP assessments also look at leadership, community engagement, or organizations as a whole. (To right, The Temple-Tifereth Israel Gallery at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage). 



As its annual conference approaches, CAJM is developing a new vehicle to facilitate members' sharing information, debriefing after conference sessions, extending conversations, and initiating joint projects throughout the year. Future e-newsletters and the conference brochure will contain more details about this wiki-like social media platform. We hope that you'll want to join in. 



CAJM offers resources for learning all year round on our website and at our annual conference, models professional standards, provides opportunities for information exchange, and works on behalf of Jewish museums and museums throughout North America. One is the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life.  Beginning as the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience in Utica, Mississippi nearly thirty years ago, the Institute expanded its mission and now provides Judaic services and cultural programs to Jewish communities in thirteen Southern states.


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