Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | January 2016
In This Issue
The Religious Narrative
Tucson's Jewish History
Seeking Holocaust Materials
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.


NOTE: The Early Bird deadline for our 2016 conference is TOMORROW, January 22nd, so don't miss out on the special price. Review the brochure and register today! One of the "Next Narratives" we'll be looking at during the conference (March 20-22, 2016 in New York City) is the religious one: In a session moderated by Jacob Wisse, director of the Yeshiva University Museum, who will be joined by Columbia University's Elisheva Carlebach, Melanie Holcomb of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Washington University's Jenna Weissman Joselit; and Yeshiva University's Rabbi Jacob J. Schachter, the panel will consider why the religious expression of Judaism is often absent from Jewish museum narratives and suggest, through cases studies, some engaging and meaningful ways to translate core aspects of Jewish experience into exhibitions for everyone. 


CAJM's member institution in Tucson will grow significantly on February 21 with the grand opening of the Rose and Maurice Silverman Jewish History Museum Campus. The complex includes an historic 1910 synagogue building, the Gould Family Holocaust History Center, and Friedman Family Jewish History Building, plus outdoor sculpture and memorial gardens. Within the Holocaust History Center, exhibitions include a wall depicting the eight stages of genocide, spaces dedicated to the personal histories of local Holocaust survivors, and another highlighting the global refugee crisis. Within the temple building, sculptural works by Jacques Lipchitz will be displayed, along with a new exhibit, guest curated by CAJM board member Zachary Levine, examining the arrival, settlement patterns, and impact of Jews in Southern Arizona.


Because of their efforts to save Jews during the Holocaust, Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara and his wife Yukiko have been honored as "Righteous Christians." Now, the town of Yaotsu, Sugihara's birthplace, is applying for UNESCO Memory of the World status. To do so, they are compiling a list of extant exit visas that Sugihara issued in 1940. Both private collectors and public institutions possessing visas, or with connections to others who possess visas, or who may have once possessed them, should contact Mr. Masaru Nakayama: Please provide a digital image if possible. Refer to this official statement for more detail, and please note that the deadline has been extended to May 2016.


The Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education in Suffern, New York is seeking donated objects and artifacts. With expansion and renovation on its Rockland Community College, the museum can accommodate more artifacts and photographs than in its previous site. If individuals or Jewish museums would be willing to share any objects, documents or photos from before or during the Holocaust, please contact Amy SaNogueira, Director of Education, to discuss possible donations: or 845-574-4011.


February 5, 2016 is the deadline to nominate museum colleagues for two honorary awards bestowed by the American Alliance of Museums: The Nancy Hanks Award for Professional Excellence, given to someone who has joined the museum field within the past ten years; and the Award for Distinguished Service to Museums, presented to someone with at least 20 years experience in the field. In each case, the individual's achievements should have benefited their home institution and/or the wider museum field in a significant way. Follow the links for more information and guidelines.


The George Washington University's Program in Experiential Education and Jewish Cultural Arts is now accepting applications for 2016/17. The only master's program of its kind in the U.S., EE/JCA prepares students for careers in Jewish museums and arts institutions, community centers, college campus organizations, summer camps, and other innovative educational and cultural settings. The program features a year-long series of internships at Jewish arts and education organizations; and qualified applicants are eligible to receive up to 85% tuition support, thanks to support from the Jim Joseph Foundation and GWU. To learn more about the program, please contact Allison Farber, Project Director, at or 202-994-6281. Above, faculty and students visit the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington.


If you would like to display brochures, catalogues, or program material from your museum at the upcoming conference, please send them to Warren Klein, Temple Emanu-El, One East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065 in early March so that he will have them no later than March 16th. ... The registration deadline for AAM's Museum Advocacy Day is tomorrow, January 22, 2016. The event takes places in Washington D.C. on February 22 and 23.  


CAJM offers resources for learning 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, like the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, located within historic Congregation Rodeph Shalom and dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art that illuminates the Jewish experience. The PMJA's permanent collection features important works by artists William Anastasi, Chaim Gross, Tobi Kahn, Joan Snyder, Shelley Spector, Boaz Vaadia and Roman Vishniac, among others. The current exhibit is Ken Goldman: Some Body Jewish (left).


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