Council of American Jewish Museums
          E-News | June-July 2016
In This Issue
Announcing the 2017 Conference
Arts Lab at Spertus
Three Holocaust Exhibits
Celebrating Venice
Honors for Zerivitz
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.


The Council of American Jewish Museums is delighted to announce that its 2017 conference will take place in Boston and  Amherst, Massachusetts.
Mark your calendars now for March 19-21, 2017! Boston and Amherst are filled with wonderful history, colleagues, and institutions that will shed light on our profession in new ways. The conference will begin and end in Boston, and we will supply round-trip transport to Amherst midway through the conference. We are thrilled that our colleagues in the region will be working with us to bring this conference to life in exciting new ways. Program Chairs Susan Bronson (Yiddish Book Center, above left) and Gabriel Sanders (Tablet Magazine) will bring their keen insights and originality to the program. Host Chairs Barnet Kessel (The Vilna Shul, right), Aaron Lansky (Yiddish Book Center), Judith Rosenbaum (Jewish Women's Archives) and Fran Putnoi (Temple Israelbelow left) will be working to bring us the best experiences these locales have to offer. We are also delighted that Gail Reimer and Jayne Guberman are serving as special advisors to the 2017 conference. This combination of talent and rich cultural resources is sure to make it a meaningful conference experience. We look forward to sharing exciting plans with you as they develop.


This summer, the gift shop space on the ground floor of Spertus Institute ( right) is being transformed into a lab for Jewish art, artists, and the community, scheduled to open in the fall. To be named the Ground Level Arts Lab, the new 1,600-square-foot programmatic space will feature a semi-permanent display of art, artifacts, and archival materials from Spertus Institute's impressive collections and a flexible space for small changing exhibits, starting with new works by Chicago-area Jewish artists. With the opening of the Lab, works from the Spertus collections will be on regular view for both researchers and members of the public. 


Three exhibitions with World War II and Holocaust subject matter have recently been added to the roster of traveling exhibitions on CAJM's website.  Memory  Reconstruction: A Sacred Culture Rebuilt , from The Human Element Project, chronicles the stories of 350 Holocaust survivors. Each of 400 small (7.5" x 9.5") panels represents a collage testimony of one survivor and his or her family.  Imagining a Better World: The Artwork of Nelly Toll , from Ohio's Massillon Museum, includes the optimistic watercolors painted by Toll when, as a young girl, she was hidden with her mother in a tiny apartment in Nazi-occupied Poland for 18 months. Finally, Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam by Annemie Wolff (a project of the San Francisco Community Federation and the Wolff Foundation) tells stories of the courageous and talented photographer, her subjects, and the ongoing discovery of these individuals' identities. You may access further logistical and rental information about the exhibits here.


Two new exhibitions now on view mark the 400th anniversary of Venice, Italy. The first, Venice, The Jews and Europe 1516-2016 (left), at the Doge's Palace, examines the reciprocal relationship between Jews and the society around them through original art, artifacts, and multimedia installations. It continues through November 13th. A companion exhibit, Divided Waters, at Palazzo Fontana, includes text-based works by four contemporary artists (right, Ghiora Aharoni's The Stranger). This will close on September 25th.


Mazel tov to our longtime friend, Marcia Zerivitz, Founding Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida (now JMF-FIU), who was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters at the May commencement ceremonies of Florida International University. FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg said, "Dr. Zerivitz is the personification of vision, of persistence, of action, and of getting things done."  ... And congratulations to us, as well.  CAJM's session at the American Alliance of Museum's annual meeting a few weeks ago marked our 20th anniversary of participation in AAM. As reported in last month's issue, the panel extended our  Next Narratives conversations from the 2016 conference to discussions with colleagues within and without the Jewish museum field. 


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 Jewish Museum and Archives of BCwhich collects and shares community memories of Jewish life in British Columbia. Its ever-growing collection includes documents, photos, and oral histories. Through innovative temporary, traveling, and online exhibits; walking tours; and other programs, the JMABC builds bridges with BC's diverse communities, heightening awareness of the rich 150-year history of Jews in the province. Above, bridge workers image from recent exhibit Up Close and Far Away.


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