Council of American Jewish Museums

Council of American Jewish Museums The Council of American Jewish Museums is an association of institutions and individuals committed to enriching American and Jewish culture and enhancing the value of Jewish museums to their communities.

CAJM is a network of Jewish art and history museums, historic sites, historical and archival societies, Holocaust centers, children's museums, synagogue museums, community centers, and university galleries; the professionals and volunteers who work in them; the patrons who support them; the children, adults and families who visit them .

Mission: The Council of American Jewish Museums is an association of institutions and individuals committed to enriching American and Jewish culture and enhancing the value of Jewish museums to their communities.

07/18/2019
The Jewish Museum

Congrats to The Jewish Museum, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and JiaJia Fei on this huge achievement, we can't wait to check it out!

Introducing Mobile Tours 🎧📱 Today we launched a new web-based audio tour platform supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, featuring the voices of artists Maira Kalman, Isaac Mizrahi, Arlene Shechet, Kehinde Wiley, and more. Plan your next visit to discover a new way of exploring the Jewish Museum, or listen from home on any mobile device at Tours.TheJewishMuseum.org.

What is the role of a Jewish museum? Is it for the Jewish community, or those non-Jews around it? And must its leader be...
07/10/2019
What and Whom Are Jewish Museums For?

What is the role of a Jewish museum? Is it for the Jewish community, or those non-Jews around it? And must its leader be Jewish?

The director of the Jewish Museum Berlin stood down after a string of controversies, and the institution is tackling tough questions as it looks for a new leader.

“We all know the who, what, when and where of the Holocaust, but the why is a mystery still. If you can get bystander ph...
05/22/2019
Witnessing the Holocaust

“We all know the who, what, when and where of the Holocaust, but the why is a mystery still. If you can get bystander photos, that explains a little bit of the why.” - Judith Cohen, director of the photography archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

“We all know the who, what, when and where of the Holocaust, but the why is a mystery still,” an archivist said. “If you can get bystander photos, that explains a little bit of the why.”

Well-timed, during a worldwide surge of anti-Semitism, the harrowing installation opened Wednesday — the anniversary of ...
05/08/2019
A Visit to the Unfathomable Past of Auschwitz

Well-timed, during a worldwide surge of anti-Semitism, the harrowing installation opened Wednesday — the anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe — over three floors of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust at the Battery, in sight of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. It strives, successfully, for fresh relevance, starting with its haunting rubric: “Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away.”

The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s exhibition about the death camp depicts, in ways large and small, the horrors of the Holocaust.

Happy Passover! We hope these works from some of our institution members provide you with beauty and inspiration for the...
04/19/2019

Happy Passover! We hope these works from some of our institution members provide you with beauty and inspiration for the week ahead:
The Jewish Museum, Nicole Eisenman, Seder, 2010
National Museum of American Jewish History, Sheet music, "Under the Matzos Tree" words and music by Fred Fischer, 1907
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Friedrich Adler, Seder plate, 1914
Jewish Museum London, "Seder without Fear," Jews’ Temporary Shelter, 1956
The Magnes, Embroidered matzah cover, 1894

Since the end of World War II, Nolde has been cherished by a broad public for his radiant landscapes and vibrantly color...
04/10/2019
Stripping Away Lies to Expose a Painter’s Nazi Past

Since the end of World War II, Nolde has been cherished by a broad public for his radiant landscapes and vibrantly colored flowers. But Nolde’s checkered biography has been whitewashed over the decades. Many Germans got to know Nolde as a victim of the Nazis; the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum exhibition will show that while his art was persecuted, the artist himself was not.

A new exhibition of the German painter Emil Nolde shows that rather than being a victim of Hitler’s regime, he was an enthusiastic supporter.

Artsy
03/29/2019
Artsy

Artsy

He represented Picasso and Matisse until the Nazis took everything.

The new exhibition at the Jewish Museum London aims to “debunk a lot of the myths that still circulate today,” said Joan...
03/22/2019
A Museum Tackles Myths About Jews and Money

The new exhibition at the Jewish Museum London aims to “debunk a lot of the myths that still circulate today,” said Joanne Rosenthal, the exhibition’s curator, “such as Jews exerting a kind of sinister influence on world events, Jews financing disastrous wars around the world for profit, Jews being naturally drawn to money making.”

An exhibition at the Jewish Museum in London looks at 2,000 years of negative stereotypes through historical objects and works of art.

"American Jews love their museums. But why? What is the draw? These questions were front and center at the conference I ...
03/21/2019
Will Jewish museums replace America's synagogues?

"American Jews love their museums. But why? What is the draw? These questions were front and center at the conference I attended this past week, organized by the Council of American Jewish Museums." - Alana Cooper

I am a museum-junkie. More specifically, a Jewish-museum junkie. And I’m not alone. Jewish museums – and their visitors - have proliferated in this country at an astounding rate over

We are pleased to share this bonus episode from our podcast series created in partnership with Judaism Unbound featuring...
03/14/2019
Judaism Unbound | Bonus Episode: Museums and the Creative Challenge (Council of American Jewish Museums Conference) | Episode 212

We are pleased to share this bonus episode from our podcast series created in partnership with Judaism Unbound featuring Ivy Barsky, Aaron Henne, and Yishai Jusidman and recorded live at our 2019 CAJM Conference!

Dan Libenson, one of Judaism Unbound’s co-hosts, heads to the annual Council of American Jewish Museums conference in Los Angeles and moderates a panel featuring recent podcast guests Ivy Barsky, Aaron Henne, and Yishai Jusidman.

Listen to our final episode from a series on art, creativity, preservation, and museums, brought to you in partnership w...
02/25/2019
Ivy Barsky: Judaism Unbound Episode 158 - Curating the Jewish Story

Listen to our final episode from a series on art, creativity, preservation, and museums, brought to you in partnership with Judaism Unbound, featuring Ivy Barsky!

Ivy Barsky , the CEO and Gwen Goodman Director of the National Museum of American Jewish History , joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg for a conversation about what Jewish museums are, why they matter, and the impact they are having on contemporary Jews. This episode is the third in a series of epi

Check out the second episode in our series on art, creativity, preservation, and museums, "Painting the Unpaintable - Yi...
02/20/2019
Yishai Jusidman: Judaism Unbound Episode 157 - Painting The Unpaintable

Check out the second episode in our series on art, creativity, preservation, and museums, "Painting the Unpaintable - Yishai Jusidman," brought to you in partnership with Judaism Unbound:

Yishai Jusidman , a painter whose exhibition  Prussian Blue  features a series of works looking at the Holocaust, questions of memory, and representation — joins Dan Libenson and Lex Rofeberg to discuss his work and the thinking behind it. [1] This episode is the second in a se

"Sendak’s book is seeded with deeper meanings, not just about “the dignity and truth of the human body” but about his ow...
02/14/2019
In Praise of Maurice Sendak

"Sendak’s book is seeded with deeper meanings, not just about “the dignity and truth of the human body” but about his own homosexuality, and his Jewish historical consciousness." - Maria Russo, The New York Times

“I’ve read the books many times to my own children, astonished at how much is in them for my grown-up self — about that growing-up process, and about the times I grew up in, too.”

Check out the first podcast of a multi-episode series, in partnership with Judaism Unbound, looking at the intersection ...
02/08/2019
Judaism Unbound

Check out the first podcast of a multi-episode series, in partnership with Judaism Unbound, looking at the intersection of art, ritual, creativity, and preservation.

"Our society is set up to see education, and ritual, and theater, and art as separate engagements. Our schools are set up this way -- art is not math, when in fact they are completely intertwined. Science is creative, and yet we put science [in a separate box]. Drama is an elective. This is insane! They are all part of one conversation."

Listen in to the latest episode of Judaism Unbound, featuring Aaron Henne of Theatre Dybbuk!

This episode is the first in a multi-episode series, in partnership with the Council of American Jewish Museums, looking at the intersection of art, ritual, creativity, and preservation.

http://www.judaismunbound.com/podcast/episode-156-aaron-henne

Among the items readers offered to the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust was a haunting pho...
02/07/2019
After an Article About an Auschwitz Exhibition, More Artifacts Surface

Among the items readers offered to the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust was a haunting photograph of Adolph Zukor, the founder of Paramount Pictures, surrounded by family and neighbors who were murdered at Auschwitz.

Among the items readers offered to the Museum of Jewish Heritage was a haunting photograph of Adolph Zukor, the founder of Paramount Pictures, surrounded by family and neighbors who were murdered at Auschwitz.

Recently, activists have begun to apply increasing pressure on a number of leverage points in museum systems: leadership...
02/01/2019
Museums: Nonprofits in the Eye of the Perfect Narrative Storm

Recently, activists have begun to apply increasing pressure on a number of leverage points in museum systems: leadership and curatorial staff, financial backers, and the institutions’ narrative habits, as well as the provenance of institutional holdings. The question becomes, “Whose knowledge is it?”—and, by extension, “Whose world?”

The daily online newswire, produced by NPQ’s collaborative journalism program, traces developments in fields, practices, and the operating environments of nonprofits. This compilation of one line of NPQ reportage highlights the realms of activities and issues involved in decolonizing the museum, a...

This past December, Miami-based filmmakers Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch released a new documentary, The Last Resort, ...
01/29/2019
Photographs That Captured 1970s Miami as a Paradise for Jewish Retirees

This past December, Miami-based filmmakers Dennis Scholl and Kareem Tabsch released a new documentary, The Last Resort, that explores the surprising and tragic intersections between Sweet’s work and the history of Miami Beach.

The film “The Last Resort” looks back at a fleeting, vibrant era documented by photographers Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe.

According to Tristram Hunt #V_and_A the role of museums in supporting democracy is more vital than it has been for a gen...
12/21/2018
Museums must confront the big issues

According to Tristram Hunt #V_and_A the role of museums in supporting democracy is more vital than it has been for a generation.

In an era of deepening nationalism museums' ability to tell stories of hybridity and cosmopolitanism is vital

Did you know you can promote your museum's job openings on the CAJM website? Submit your postings today!
12/06/2018
Career Opportunities — CAJM

Did you know you can promote your museum's job openings on the CAJM website? Submit your postings today!

Postings are listed for up to three months from submission date. To submit your own job/internship/fellowship postings for consideration, please provide the following information:

An estimated 600,000 paintings were stolen by the Nazis during World War II, 100,000 still remain missing.
11/28/2018
Five Countries Slow to Address Nazi-Looted Art, U.S. Expert Says

An estimated 600,000 paintings were stolen by the Nazis during World War II, 100,000 still remain missing.

At a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of an international accord on restitution, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Russia and Italy were faulted.

“Nothing is hidden anymore, so it’s all out in the open and people can read it and know it and judge for themselves,” sa...
11/13/2018
In a Netherlands Museum Director, the Nazis Found an Ally

“Nothing is hidden anymore, so it’s all out in the open and people can read it and know it and judge for themselves,” said the director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. “It will not go away; it’s a terrible history, but we can make clear what happened. There’s guilt there, and we can never deny it, and we know now exactly what happened, so we want to put a line under the story.”

As Dutch museums scour their holdings for Nazi-looted art, historians are revisiting a wartime arts administrator associated with tainted works.

A shared sorrow may have provided the briefest taste of unity after Pittsburgh, but anti-Semitism is not what defines th...
11/12/2018
American Jews Face a Choice: Create Meaning or Fade Away

A shared sorrow may have provided the briefest taste of unity after Pittsburgh, but anti-Semitism is not what defines the experience of Jews in America today; assimilation is. To hear the professional worriers in the Jewish community, it’s love, not hate, that poses the bigger existential challenge.

Five new books touch on American Jewish identity and what will sustain it into the future.

The question of tattoo artistry—its aesthetic, spiritual, and historical power—is at the heart of the exhibit Lew the Je...
11/05/2018
Lew the Jew’s Tattoos - Tablet Magazine

The question of tattoo artistry—its aesthetic, spiritual, and historical power—is at the heart of the exhibit Lew the Jew and His Circle: The Origins of American Tattoo, now showing at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

A traveling exhibition originating at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, in Skokie, a Chicago suburb know...
11/01/2018
Memories Of Genocide Retold In The Stories Of Everyday Objects

A traveling exhibition originating at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, in Skokie, a Chicago suburb known for its high concentration of Holocaust survivors, makes these linkages explicit and encourages reflection on how objects acquire and change meaning.

These artifacts serve as reminders of the impediments of bureaucracy, as well as the thin line between life and death.

The Museum of the Bible has removed five Dead Sea Scroll fragments from its exhibit this week after testing raised suspi...
10/31/2018
Museum of Bible Removes Dead Sea Scrolls It Suspects Are Fake

The Museum of the Bible has removed five Dead Sea Scroll fragments from its exhibit this week after testing raised suspicions about their authenticity.

Five fragments once associated with the famous scrolls were shown to have “characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin” according to a statement from the museum in Washington this week.

Special Statement from CAJM on the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg.
10/29/2018

Special Statement from CAJM on the shootings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburg.

“What we’re trying to say here is that lessons of the past are easily repeated if people don’t pay attention,” Mr. Adelm...
10/22/2018
A Holocaust Memorial Expands in Philadelphia

“What we’re trying to say here is that lessons of the past are easily repeated if people don’t pay attention,” Mr. Adelman, Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation Chairman, said. “For us, this is about hate and signs of hatred and what that can lead to.”

A plaza built around the “Monument to Six Million Jewish Martyrs” features sections of train track from Treblinka embedded in the pavement and survivors’ testimony.

Culturally specific museums are uniquely positioned in the current discussions of equity in the art world, said Deborah ...
10/16/2018
Mission Accomplished?: As Mainstream Art Museums Rush to Diversify, What is the Role of Culturally Specific Museums Working for a Cause? -

Culturally specific museums are uniquely positioned in the current discussions of equity in the art world, said Deborah Cullen, the recently appointed director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, who worked in various curatorial roles at El Museo del Barrio 15 years. “With the interest that has been paid to the conversation around diversifying our institutions, it would seem like these institutions are vital places to lead this conversation,” she said. “They’re the ones with the history of doing this in an ongoing way. This isn’t a fad for them. This is something they know how to do.”

In July, El Museo del Barrio, a museum in upper Manhattan devoted to exhibiting and collecting Latinx and Latin American art, issued a statement in response to the family separation crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. The museum’s director, Patrick Charpenel, … Read More

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General information

CAJM offers an annual conference, cooperative programs, a website, publications, and direct access to professional development opportunities - job openings, as well as new funding initiatives, challenging ethical and legal issues, and exemplary professional practices in Jewish museums. The organization has approximately 80 institutional (Jewish museum) members and dozens of individual members.

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DOCUMENTARY REVEALS A HIDDEN SHOAH STORY It’s an honor for me to be at the forefront of a story tradition that belongs uniquely to children of Holocaust survivors. Thank you for inviting me to share this with you: The Presence of Their Absence follows a son of survivors on a journey to trace his inherited trauma. Armed with only scant clues from his late parents, Fred Zaidman ventures into the unknown to tell his story for this first time. With helpers in Poland, Israel, Germany, and an unlikely source – a Baptist minister in Atlanta - Fred finds his roots in the ashes of the Shoah. Yad Vashem has called The Presence of Their Absence “a film for the ages”. We are delighted it has just come to Digital HD on iTunes and your other platforms: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-presence-of-their-absence/id1449946652 https://www.amazon.com/Presence-Their-Absence-Fred-Zaidman/dp/B07P1C57FL. You may also access a DVD on our website: https://thepresenceoftheirabsence.com/ I hope you will view the film, send your thoughts, and share your personal stories on our website contact page. With gratitude, Donna Kanter and team
Thank you, Alana Cooper, for this terrific article about the CAJM Conference 2019 in Los Angeles, and the important work of CAJM and our members.
Hi group. Hope its ok to share here.. VR Erfurt Ring is one genocide story being created at Better World Museum. The Erfurt Treasure's wedding ring offers an opportunity to examine social violence from a feminine perspective. This is a work in progress and any advice or thoughts are appreciated. Thank you
A noose was found Wednesday in a public gallery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. As disturbing an hateful attacks targeted at specific communities continue across the nation, it is more important than ever for cultural and identity museums to not only condemn these acts, but to also work together to bridge cultural divides and remain a safe and open space that educates visitors of all backgrounds.
A noose was found Wednesday in a public gallery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. As disturbing an hateful attacks targeted at specific communities continue across the nation, it is more important than ever for cultural and identity museums to not only condemn these acts, but to also work together to bridge cultural divides and remain a safe and open space that educates visitors of all backgrounds.