Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | March 2015
In This Issue
Stimulating Conference
Premack to Retire
CAJM Idea Lab Event
Jobs in the Field
Keep the Conversation Going
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.



This month's Open Source conference in the Bay Area brought together 120 Jewish museum professionals from across North America and from as far away as the UK, Austria, Holland, and Brazil. Participants were engaged and inspired by nearly half as many distinguished presenters, provocateurs, and interlocutors. CAJM is indebted to its hosts at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and The Magnes Museum in Berkeley, and to colleagues at six other conference destinations. Whether you were with us or had to miss it, you might enjoy two perspectives on the proceedings: Dan Schifrin's coverage of CAJM 2015 for j.weekly and Deborah Cardin's blog entry for the Jewish Museum of Maryland.  By the way, you can help expand our photo album from the conference: Please send your snaps. (Above, past CAJM Chair Macy B. Hart pays tribute to longtime Executive Director Joanne Kauvar at The CJM. Right: Conference Co-Chair Marsha Semmel, Executive Director Melissa Martens Yaverbaum, Co-Chair Anita Kassof, and Host Chair Lori Starr)



In San Francisco, we learned that Ellen Premack, Executive Director of Denver's Mizel Museum, will be retiring in June. Ellen has been involved with the museum since 1992, initially as a member of the Board of Governors. She created the organization's first collections management database and served as Director of Education before becoming Executive Director in 2000. According to Founder Larry Mizel Ellen's "leadership, vision and creativity" brought the institution from a small synagogue display to a national recognized museum; he recognized her "unconditional dedication, grace and extraordinary work." We thank Ellen for her collegiality, and congratulate her for 23 years of accomplishments (right, an image from the permanent exhibit, 4000 Year Road Trip: Gathering Sparks).



For the most part, Jewish museums maintain traditional assumptions about the role and value of collecting and collections. However, the Jewish communal and cultural landscape in America is changing rapidly; and despite their potential for deep meaning-making, museum collections command limited attention from other Jewish communal organizations and cultural patrons. On May 21, CAJM Idea Lab will sponsor a focused gathering In Philadelphia. Join thoughtful leaders from the communal and cultural arenas in considering why such a rich and important heritage is sometimes under-appreciated. What might be done to better connect collections and communities across North America? A full schedule and registration information for the event will be available shortly. (Above, the impressive collection storage area at The Magnes in Berkeley, CA. Photo: Harriete Estel Berman)



We wanted to bring to your attention two exciting positions currently available in Jewish museums, one in the U.S. and one farther abroad. In Chicago, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is seeking a Vice President of Education & Exhibitions. In Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Jewish Historical Museum is seeking a Director to succeed our valued colleague Joel Cahen (right). Visit the Career Opportunities page on CAJM's website for additional opportunities.



We appreciated Why Not Books' donating copies of Carolyn Goodman's My Mantelpiece to the conference. If this book, a reflection on social justice issues and her son Andrew's tragic death in Mississippi, is suitable for your shop, you can be in touch with Amy Hillsberg regarding special discounts. And if you're reluctant to set aside those fascinating conversations from earlier this month, keep them going on the conference Ning and/or our Facebook page. On the Ning, you can continue to interact with compelling questions posed during Nina Simon's post-it exercise. Finally, here are three articles germane to conference themes: one in The Agitator on donor trends, one on Wired about a Disney innovation, and Washington Post commentary on the sharing economy.



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. We'll be able to visit some of our favorite institutional members when we return to New York City for CAJM 2016. (Right, Repetition and Difference at The Jewish Museum, where the exhibition continues through August 9th.


Meet new colleagues and grow your skills: 
Stay current:
Join Our Mailing List
Like us on Facebook