Exhibit explores postwar exodus of Baltimore's Jewish community

Student-curated 'Jews on the Move' opens Oct. 17 in Hodson Hall

Undergraduates from The Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Maryland, will present the results of their hands-on work as the curators of the traveling panel exhibit "Jews on the Move: Baltimore and the Suburban Exodus, 1945-1968," a display of historic images and local stories in Hodson Hall on the university's Homewood campus.

Image caption: 'Jews on the Move' will be on display from Oct. 17 through Dec. 17 in Hodson Hall

The public is invited to attend the exhibition's opening night at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the second-floor lobby where the exhibit is being displayed. Visitors will be able to tour the exhibit and join discussions with museum staff members and student curators. Remarks from Katherine S. Newman, James B. Knapp Dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, will be at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The event is free, but RSVPs are requested by emailing rcylus@jewishmuseummd.org or by calling 410-732-6400 ext. 215.

"Jews on the Move" explores the postwar relocation of Baltimore's Jewish community from the city to the northwest suburbs of Baltimore County. In the years following World War II, Baltimore Jews, like so many other Americans, left behind close-knit urban neighborhoods in pursuit of the American dream. Within the span of a single generation, the Jewish community swiftly reconfigured itself and experienced a fascinating social, economic and cultural transformation. "Jews on the Move" explores the local angle on a national story of suburbanization through the eyes of developers, real estate agents, community institutions and organizations, synagogues, and of course the families who helped establish the suburbs of Northwest Baltimore.

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Johns Hopkins University Program in Museums and Society partners with local museums to take undergraduate students out of the classroom and give them hands-on museum experience. In spring 2012, staff and consultants from the Jewish Museum of Maryland taught a course at Johns Hopkins that involved students in the creation of the exhibition, conducting historical research on the museum collections, studying oral histories, and mining the archives.

"One of the most rewarding opportunities for students in the Museums and Society Program is the chance to get off campus and work in real-life situations—with professionals in the field and on projects with a public face," said Elizabeth Rodini, the program's director. "Working alongside the JMM staff, our students learned what it takes to put together a history exhibition, from archival research to effective writing to meaningful exhibition design. The lessons learned in the museum are unlike anything we can provide in the classroom."

Added Marvin Pinkert, director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland: "As a newcomer to Baltimore I am just beginning to understand the context of the complex, vibrant Jewish community I have joined. I think the social history this exhibit captures is something that nearly everyone can relate to. The students at Johns Hopkins really got engaged in this, and I hope that this is just the beginning of their long careers in the museum field."

"Jews on the Move' will be exhibited in Hodson Hall until Dec. 17. Visit http://www.jewishmuseummd.org/jewsonthemove for more information and to see the schedule of upcoming venues in and around Baltimore hosting this traveling exhibit.