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Tuesday, September 7, 2004

'We Call This Place Home' Exhibit Celebrates Jewish Life

SALISBURY, MD---At one time, almost every Maryland market town or transportation center had one or more Jewish merchants doing business along the main street.  While some of these merchants—along with Jews in other pursuits—moved away within a generation, others established families and close local friendships, putting down deep roots in their adopted towns. We Call This Place Home: Jewish Life in Maryland’s Small Towns, an exhibition produced by the Jewish Museum of Maryland and presented by the University Galleries at Salisbury University tells their story. The exhibit hangs September 28-November 5 in the Fulton Hall Gallery. An opening reception is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, September 28. Coinciding with the opening reception, a Jewish Dinner is served 5-7 p.m. in the Commons Bistro. The meal is accompanied by old world musical entertainment featuring Jewish Klezmer music. The public is invited to attend. Admission to the dinner is $8.75 for adults, $5.50 for children. The first exhibit of its kind in Maryland, We Call This Place Home includes materials from Jewish communities throughout the state, from Pocomoke City on the southern tip of the Eastern Shore, to Cumberland in the western panhandle. Visitors should also look for references to Annapolis, Frederick, Hagerstown, Westminster, Bel Air, Havre de Grace, Lexington Park and other areas. In photographs and many first-person texts, the display chronicles the challenges of and rewards for maintaining Jewish life while at the same time assimilating into the larger cultural community—an experience shared by those of many ethnic groups. In preparation for the exhibit, Jewish Museum of Maryland curator Karen Falk, working with historians Eric Goldstein of Emory University and Lee Shai Weissbach of the University of Louisville, spent two years conducting research, collecting objects, and recording the stories of dozens of Jewish individuals from all over the state. This exhibition is supported in part by the Maryland Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland Historical Trust and the University Galleries at Salisbury University. The exhibit is free and the public is invited. The Fulton Hall Gallery is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. weekends.  The gallery is closed on Mondays and all holidays. For information about We Call This Place Home: Jewish Life in Maryland’s Small Towns and general visitor information call 410-548-2547 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu. An exhibit catalogue that documents and interprets the Jewish experience in Maryland, edited by Karen Falk and Avi Y. Decter, may be purchased for $15 in the Fulton Hall Gallery. The catalogue was published by The Jewish Museum of Maryland with support from The Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, Henry and Elizabeth Lehmann Philanthropic Fund, National Endowment for the Humanities, Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland State Arts Council.

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