Maine Jewish Museum to Reopen to the Public
Exhibition Opening Scheduled for Thursday, February 4, 2021

We are happy to announce the Maine Jewish Museum is opening after months of renovation due to a fire this past Spring. We are also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation of Etz Chaim Synagogue which houses the Maine Jewish Museum. “Mixing It Up” will be our first exhibition in the newly renovated space. This exhibition of 10 artists will be held in the Spiegel Gallery and Fineberg Community Room. We will also have a photography exhibit by Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest, on the third floor in the newly dedicated Jody S. Sataloff Art and History Pavilion.

Mixing It Up

Exhibition curated by Nancy Davidson, Resident Curator and Elizabeth Ruskin, Ceramicist and Art Collector

Exhibition Opening Scheduled for Thursday, February 4, 2021 12pm-4pm

Located in the Spiegel Gallery and Fineberg Family Community Room –
The exhibition features a selection of work from the Following Artists:

Sondra Bogdonoff – Weavings
Reid Brechner – Ceramic Paintings
Linda Gerson – Paintings
Joe Hemes – Illuminated Sculptures
Jamie Johnston – Wood Sculptures
Lin Lisberger – Wood Sculptures
Elizabeth Ruskin – Ceramic Sculptures
Meryl Ruth – Teapots
Adrienne Sloane – Fiber
Gail Spaien – Paintings

Winter Hours: Sundays & Mondays 12pm-4pm Thursdays & Fridays 12pm-4pm
Mask required.

Please maintain 6 ft distance from one another.

Rituals – Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest, Photography

Located in the newly dedicated Jody S. Sataloff Art and History Pavilion

“My great-great-great grandmother Rachel Mendez De Leon’s (1834-1903) Portuguese ancestors moved to Amsterdam during the Sephardic Immigration in the 17th century because of the inquisition. That does not make me Jewish but my two grandsons are. I feel privileged to have been able to witness them turn from babies into real (wonderful) human beings. Seeing them grow up in the Jewish faith put me in a position as an outside observer. As a photographer, I am also an outsider looking in. I am a bystander documenting the world around me. These ceremonies and rituals I witnessed and photographed were strange and new to me. But they were also loving, warm and inviting. It has been a privilege to document them.”

Jan Pieter van Voorst van Beest is a Fine Arts photographer living in Pownal Maine. He studied photography at the Portland School of Art, and at the Maine Photographic Workshops with Joyce Tenneson and Arnold Newman. The majority of his work can be classified as street/documentary and portrait photography. His work has been published in a variety of magazines and books and has been exhibited in the U.S, the Netherlands, Russia, The Portland Museum of Art, The Bowdoin College Museum, the University of Southern Maine and the Art Gallery at the University of New England.

Winter Hours: Sundays & Mondays 12pm-4pm Thursdays & Fridays 12pm-4pm
Mask required.

Please maintain 6 ft distance from one another.

The Maine Jewish Museum Board of Directors has recently voted to name the third floor of the Museum the :Jody S Sataloff Art and History Pavillion in honor of Jody’s tireless leadership, creative vision and generosity of spirit!

Jody, the founding President of the Museum, has stepped down from the Board after 12 years serving as a founding Board member. We will greatly miss her wise counsel, her great insight and her willingness to help at all times, whenever time, ideas or resources were needed.

We are greatly in your debt for making the Museum what it is today. A ceremony will be held at the Museum when the time is right to honor Jody and we hope you can all attend!

Portland synagogue shuttered by fire, water damage, to reopen for 100th year

Portland Press Herold
Read Article

Due to the fire, we are closed for renovations until December.

Demolition continues prior to Construction Beginning


As you can see from the photos,  demolition is well underway throughout the Museum. We have hired great craftsmen to lovingly restore the Ark (Chris Coose and Chris Considine), replace the flooring (Andy Walsh), and restore the amazing stained glass window over the Ark (Matthew Kendall), while our general contractor oversees the entire project. We are most fortunate to have Licensed Architect Curt Sachs as our Owner’s Representative and thank him for his volunteering to fill this important role.

Please click the link below to make a donation to the Etz Chaim Synagogue/Maine Jewish Museum Fire Restoration and Operating Fund, and you will play a key role in ensuring that these two organizations and this historic building will be here for all to enjoy for another 100 years!

Be well, be safe, and thank you for your consideration.

Mark Aranson, President of Etz Chaim Synagogue
Rabbi Gry Berenson
Steve Brinn, President of the Maine Jewish Museum