Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | December - January  
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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.



Happy New Year and best wishes for 2015! If one of your resolutions is to be sensible about money, why not take advantage of our conference's Early Bird Deadline (Friday, January 9th)? Open Source: Jewish Museums + Collaborative Culture will be a lively gathering for learning, exchanging ideas, networking and socializing. Consult the conference brochure for all of the exciting details on the March 8-10 program, and be sure to register this week. Two other key deadlines: Conference fellowship applications are due January 15th, and the deadline for the CAJM rate at the Marriott Marquis is February 12th.




Dear CAJM Members, 

This January is the official beginning of my role as CAJM's new Executive Director, and I am honored to be starting 2015 with such an important and exciting professional challenge ahead.While I have been deeply involved in CAJM for more than a decade as a volunteer, there has never been a more interesting time to work with CAJM members on their goals, questions, challenges, and opportunities. 

As someone who worked with collections and exhibitions in Jewish museums for 17 years, I have a passion and excitement for Jewish museums, their value and potential. I also know the value CAJM can have for an individual or an organization--from networking to resource sharing, to opportunities for professional development and leadership. 

Most of all, CAJM provides a vista onto the field, and a community and forum to explore common issues. So much is changing in the North American Jewish museum scene with audiences, technologies, and communities that CAJM is ready to examine its role and ask new questions with those working in the field day to day. As we continue to strive for best museum practice, we also turn to a new set of challenges in "next practice"--to further activate the potential for community engagement and relevancy for today's audiences. 

In addition to our national conference, you will be seeing new opportunities to connect, explore, and grow with us in the year ahead. I look forward to getting to know you all better, as CAJM moves forward in new ways with its members. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at, and I hope to see you all from March 8-10 for our much-anticipated conference in the Bay Area. 

 ~ Melissa Martens Yaverbaum



The current newsletter of the Association of European Jewish Museums includes a report on the November 15-18 conference by Canadian museum specialist Reesa Greenberg. (To left, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett leads a curatorial tour of the POLIN core exhibition.) It also announces the next Advanced Curatorial Education Program (A-CEP), which is scheduled to take place at The Jewish Museum London from February 15-19. 



Recently The Breman in Atlanta launched a new website, which prompted museum director 
Aaron Berger and his staff to give some more thought to cyber-security. Aaron has asked us to pose these questions to
the field: What security measures do CAJM institutions employ for their website security, and have any been victims of cyber-attacks? Please let him know if you have relevant thoughts or experience. To right, a glimpse of the museum's current Maurice Sendak exhibition.



Our colleagues at the Mizel Museum in Denver wanted to make sure that CAJM members were aware of a conference devoted to research on Crypto-Judaism that will take place in Miami, FL next July. This intriguing subject was part of CAJM's own conference program in Phoenix some years ago. If this is an area of interest, you will find a Call for Papers and further information about the meeting here.



Because of a technical glitch, some of our members did not receive the past several newsletters. In case you were one of them, you can read more about the conference and other activities of your Jewish museum colleagues by following these links to the issues: September, October, November.



In advance of the conference, be sure to sign on to CAJM's user-friendly social platform, a place for chatting, posing questions, and sharing photographs, articles, accomplishments, or impressions. Go to and let us know what you're working on, thinking about, or looking forward to as the new year begins. 



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 Goodman Family Judaic & Archival Museum at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, MI. Above, three dreidels from the collection by Israeli artist Avi Luvaton


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