JMM Awarded Fund For New Health-Care Exhibit

September 18, 2013
BY Suzanne Pollak

The Jewish Museum of Maryland has been awarded a $150,000 grant to develop a comprehensive exhibit exploring Jewish approaches to health care.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services issued almost $30 million in grants to museums across the country and held a recognition ceremony for the grantees at the Capitol Visitors Center Wednesday afternoon.

The exhibit, which is expected to open in the spring of 2015, will explore historical and contemporary Jewish approaches to health care, examining medical training, relationships between patient and healer and the communal responses to taking care of the sick, such as the establishment of Jewish voluntary hospitals in the 19th century, according to its application. The exhibit also will include an interpretive brochure, a series of programs with speakers and a website.

It will deal with Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, which began in 1866 as the Hebrew Hospital and Asylum and is an agency of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. The hospital was established to teach Jewish nursing students who weren’t welcome in other programs, according to Deborah Cardin, assistant director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.

The exhibit is timely in that it will deal with the Affordable Care Act and emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), Cardin noted, adding that it will feature “the really amazing role Jews, and particularly local Jews, have played” in health care here. The exhibit will cover many health- care issues “through a Jewish lens,” she said.

The JMM has received grant money from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the past, and Cardin said she believes that is due to the fact that the museum has always produced high-level exhibits.

“We always deliver what we promise to do,” she said.

The Jewish Museum of Maryland was founded in 1960 as the Jewish Historical Society and is located on Lloyd Street in downtown Baltimore. It must come up with $250,000 as part of this matching grant, Cardin said.


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