At the Jewish Museum of Maryland, we believe that people matter. Part of our mission is to inspire everyone to explore history, take action, and image a better future – and we do mean everyone. It is incredibly important to us that JMM be not just a safe place for all our visitors, but a welcoming one.
In order to create a truly welcoming environment, we hope that JPride will help support our work with the Keshet Leadership Project in Baltimore. We are seeking funding for a targeted training session for the Museum’s staff and volunteers. Working with Keshet, we will identify and hire a local Jewish leader to present an in-depth training hosted at the Museum, focused on the Jewish LGBTQ+ community, and how we, as Museum professionals and volunteers, can fully support, welcome, and include these communities at the Museum.
As an extension of this training, we hope to engage the presenter for additional one-on-one work with Talia Makowsky, our Visitor Services Coordinator and the organizer of JMM’s efforts to improve inclusion and engagement for all our visitors. This work goes beyond a single training session with our current staff and volunteers. To succeed, it is essential to create the resources and abilities within our own staff to further our knowledge, provide training to future staff and volunteers, and potentially to those outside our own organization, including other Associated agencies.
JMM is fortunate to already be participating in the Keshet Leadership Project and is committed to creating an inclusive, affirming environment at the Museum. Keshet has already agreed to connect us with a locally-based leader to provide the training. The local connection is important to help us gain both a broader knowledge and awareness of LGBTQ+ Jewish communal needs and issues as well as those specific to our community.
This training will be mandatory for all professional staff at JMM and front-of-house (FOH) volunteers, including our docents, front desk, and gift shop volunteers. It will be strongly encouraged for all Museum volunteers, regardless of their position. We will hold the session on a Friday morning when the Museum is closed to the public so that all staff members are able to attend. We hope to schedule this 90-minute training in March or April of 2020.
Funding from JPride will be used to secure the training leader, both for the group session and for additional work with Talia to prepare her to facilitate and expand future training.