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Past Programs and Events

    • Drawing from Nature: Artist Talk and Workshop - Gretchen Halpert

      November 10 2022 2-4pm

      Join local artist and scientific illustrator Gretchen Halpert of the Scientific Illustration Distance Program (SIDP) for this FREE two-part program! From 2 – 2:30 PM, Halpert will discuss her MJM exhibit against the backdrop of her career at the juxtaposition of art, science, and teaching. Then, from 2:30 – 4 PM, , Halpert will provide instruction to artists and budding artists ages 12+ on traditional drawing exercises, helping them hone their observation skills as they capture elements of the natural world on paper. Specimens and drawing materials will be provided; you are also welcome to bring your own.

    • Hadassah X MJM Book Group

      November 8 2022 – 10 am -11:30 am

      Bookworms take note: the Portland Hadassah Book Group is combining forces with the Maine Jewish Museum! The NEW Portland Hadassah X MJM Book Group will meet on the second Tuesday of the month from September – May,10 – 11:30 AM, at the Museum.

    • Exhibit Opening:
      Jack Montgomery, Gretchen Halpert , and Hank Paper

      November 3 2022 – 5 -7 PM

      All are Welcome!

    • Hole in the Head Review Poetry Reading Series

      October 27 2022 7-9pm

      The Maine Jewish Museum is proud to be collaborating with Hole in the Head Review to the first of quarterly poetry readings at the Museum.

      Two acclaimed Maine poets, Linda Aldrich and Richard Forester, will be the featured readers.

      View a recording of this event

    • Can We Talk? Building Bridges Instead of Walls

      October 6 2022 4-5:30 PM

      October 13 2022 – 4 – 5:30 PM

      October 20th 2022 4-5:30 PM

      At a time of heightened racial tensions and deep socio-political divisions, American Blacks and Jews are being threatened, harassed, and even murdered in alarming numbers. It is more important than ever for the Black and Jewish communities to build mutual support networks and form a united front to fight the perils around us. Unfortunately, however, Black-Jewish ties have not been tended to in recent decades, leading to an undeniable and undeniably worrisome erosion of relations.

    • Violins of Hope PSO Performance

      October 17 2022 7-8:15 PM

      Violins of Hope is a concert project featuring a private collection of violins, violas, and cellos housed in Israel. All of the instruments were owned by Jewish people during the Holocaust and were collected following World War II. The PSO-MJM Violins of Hope Maine will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the resistance of the Terezin prisoners. PSO string players will perform on these special instruments, a 60-piece collection, during Verdi’s Requiem concert. Tickets required,Tickets required.

    • Artist Visit with Paula Gerstenblatt

      September 22, 2022 2-4pm

      Paula Gerstenblatt will be at the Maine Jewish Museum to visit with guests and and answer questions about her exhibit

    • Artist Talk
      -Judy Glickmann

      September 13 2022 – 7-8:30pm

      Internationally-renowned photographer Judy Glickman will discuss her exhibit on display at MJM, including her decision to depart from black-and-white film and explore digital color photography.

    • Artist Talk & Demo
      - Joan Busing

      September 11 1-3 PM

      Local artist Joan Busing, whose work expands on the legacy of the Abstract Expressionists of the 1980s, will discuss her exhibit on display at MJM. She will also give a live demonstration of her monoprint technique, in which she paints an image on Plexiglass using layers of thin color applied in gestural strokes and playful geometric patterns and transfers it to paper using a press, creating a unique, irreproducible print. Free admission. Q&A to follow discussion and demo.

    • Exhibition Opening:
      Joan Busing, Paula Gerstenblatt, and Judy Glickman

      September 1 5-7 PM

      Mingle with artists and art lovers, enjoy wine and cheese with museum mavens and curious minds, and celebrate with us as we unveil our newest exhibitions!

    • All-Bach Concert, followed by a panel discussion on Anti-Semitism

      Thursday, August 4 2022 at 7:30pm
      (Etz Chaim Synagogue)

    • Make Your Own Cyanotypes!

      August 3 2022 (rain date August 10) 1-3 PM

      In conjucunction with the current MJM exhibit “a flower expected everywhere […] (Emily Dickinson),” artist Juliet Karelsen will lead a workshop inviting you to experiment with creating cynanotypes — the centuries-old process of placing objects on paper or fabric treated with chemicals that are sensitive to sunlight, turning the prints a deep cyan blue. The workshop will focus on using local flora and fauna and offer the option of making prints with Jewish-themed objects, as well. Bringing objects from home to create your prints is encouraged, but not required. Artists of all ages and abilities are welcome, and admission is free!

    • Life & Art of Solotaire Panel Discussion

      June 30 2022 – 4pm

      New York Maine New York
      Robert Solotaire
      Spiegel Gallery

      View a video of the event

      “Our father spent his life dedicated to the art and the practice of painting. It’s hard to think of dad without a paint brush in his hand, or standing in front of his easel, or without his camera walking down the street looking for new subject matter. But he was also a loving father, a beloved man about town, an avid reader, and clipper of the news (with strong opinions about what he was reading), a veteran gardener, a music lover, and a voracious traveler. He truly lived a full life, enjoying the world around him and the people he met, and his art reflected that.

      For every hour he spent in front of the easel he spent many more walking the streets of Portland, New York City, Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, and so many small industrial towns around the country that fascinated him. His subjects were the places people worked and lived, the streets they walked, and the factories and plants that were the backbone of these cities. He also had great respect for the nature that surrounded those buildings and structures capturing the sky, trees, and water with a softness that stands in contrast to the solidness and detail of the human structures.”

      “Dad made every subject he painted feel like he had a personal connection to it, as if he worked or lived there, and he was inviting you in to experience it the way he did. He was an artist who wanted to convey beauty in the everyday world wherever he found it and to share that experience with you. He was self-taught but an exacting teacher, filling countless sketch pads with studies and sketches. Reworking a painting over until it was just right. It was uncommon for people to be included in his finished work but he had pages and pages of drawings of bodies and faces. He did dozens of drawings of horses just so he could give one to his daughter of the animal she loves so much.”

      “Having a parent as an artist means you have someone who can show you the beauty and wonder of the world around you every day. We hope the paintings on display here, in the town he called home for so long, convey some of those feelings to you.”

      The paintings on display have been loaned for sale by Robert’s children Matt,
      Lynn and Benjamin as well as Dana Williams and Annette & Rob Elowitch.
      Fifty percent of the each sale will benefit the Maine Jewish Museum.

    • Meet Photographer Smith Galtney!

      Friday, June 17th 2022, 1pm – 4pm
      and Friday, June 24th 2022 1pm – 4pm

      Smith Galtney
      Jody Sataloff History and Art Pavillion

      Dream Sequence considers the way pictures speak to each other and tell infinite stories through association and suggestion. Galtney’s images are rooted in narratively direct traditions such as autobiography and documentary, but through variation and juxtaposition – random and otherwise – the pictures become cryptic, dreamlike fragments. Whatever story they tell is ultimately up to the viewer.

      Smith Galtney is a Maine-based photographer and writer. His photography has been shown at the University of Southern Maine, SPEEDWELL projects, Cove Street Arts, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and Engine. A former entertainment journalist, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and GQ, among other publications.

      Smith and the MJM staff look forward to greeting you at the Museum this Friday!

    • Etz Chaim is Celebrating our 100th Anniversary!

      June 26th 2022 – 3pm

      Dr. Michael Cohen
      Tulane University

      We are planning a gala event on Sunday, June 26th 2022 at 3:00 pm to celebrate with a free Garden Reception followed by a short program inside the sanctuary. We will have a video tribute to the first 100 years and a few remarks will be presented by two or three members with long standing connections to Etz Chaim Synagogue.

      A keynote address will be delivered by Professor Dr. Michael Cohen of Tulane University. Dr. Cohen is a Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies, is an author of several books about the Jewish experience and has personal connections to Etz Chaim and the Portland Jewish community.

    • Meet Artist Missy Asen!

      Sunday, June 12th 2022, 11am – 4pm

      Chat with Missy Asen about her vibrant and joyful botanical paintings!

      Missy Asen is a native Mainer who grew up in Cape Elizabeth. Since she picked up her first crayon, she has found joy in her craft. Missy graduated with a BFA from Ohio Wesleyan University. She maintains studios in Falmouth, Maine, and Sarasota, Florida.

      Missy has exhibited at Cygnet Gallery, Thos. Moser Gallery, the Clown Gallery in Stonington, Terrazzo Studio and Gallery, Art and Soul in Kennebunkport, Jameson Gallery, and the Island Gallery at Diamond Cove. She has also exhibited in many galleries in Florida. Her work is included in numerous corporate and private collections. And now, you can see her work and meet her in person at the Maine Jewish Museum!

      Missy and the MJM staff look forward to greeting you at the Museum this Sunday!

    • Artist Talk
      with Smith Galtney

      May 19 2022- 7:00 pm

      Join us in welcoming photographer, Smith Galtney. His photography has been shown at the University of Southern Maine, SPEEDWELL projects, Cove Street Arts, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and Engine. In this talk he will be discussing his process, inspirations and relationship to photography.

      View a video of the event

    • The Diary of Anne Frank

      May 5 – 7pm
      and May 7 – 7pm

      Opera in the Pines presents the Maine premiere of The Diary of Anne Frank, by Grigory Frid. Based on the original text of the famous diary Anne kept as she hid with her family between 1942 and 1944, this monodramatic opera in 21 scenes will proudly feature an all-female creative team, including Rachel Policar (National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene) in the title role of Anne Frank, and pianist Tina Davis (Artist Faculty in Piano at the University of Southern Maine). Join us May 5th 2022 and 7th 2022 at 7 PM, at Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress Street, Portland, Maine.

      View a video about this production

    • NEWS / NOT NEWS: A Conversation with M. Annenberg

      May 4 2022 – 4pm

      View a video of the event

      In this artist talk at 4pm on May 3rd 2022, M. Annenberg will trace the decline of news coverage in the American mainstream press from the 1990’s to the present. Are our oceans acidifying? Are the glaciers melting? Will we breach 1.5 degrees of warming this decade? Is there a climate emergency? If so, why don’t we all know it, beyond a reasonable doubt. M. Annenberg is a Conceptual artist. Her paintings, sculptures, installations and videos focus on under reported stories in American media, concentrating on scientific studies and global warming.

    • What is Shalom House?

      March 27 2022 – 2 pm

      View a video of the event

      Shalom House is a non-profit mental health agency that provides housing and services to adults from all backgrounds who are living with severe mental illness. This year we celebrate our 50th Anniversary of providing Home, Health & Hope with a special exhibition in honor of Nancy Davidson, Curator of the Maine Jewish Museum. Nancy was one of the founding members of Shalom House. She, along with Rabbi Sky, represented the Jewish community in a group of ecumenical leaders looking to create the first halfway house in Maine for those leaving psychiatric institutions during the early 1970s.
      For over 28 years the Art Program at Shalom has been an important part of the mental health services we provide. This exhibition features works by Heidi Stubbs and Jack Sullivan, two of the many talented artists in our studio.

      Image: Scarborough Marsh, Acrylic on Canvas, Heidi Stubbs

    • Artist Talk: Storytellers

      March 20 2022 – 4 pm

      View a video of the event

      Stories we tell each other are all we have. There would be no past without stories of kings and wars and love and ancestors. There would be no future without stories of hope and aspiration and lessons learned.
      Saint, whore, mother, daughter, queen, slave, hero, betrayer, betrayed. The stories of women are abundant in the Bible. The work in Stories looks at these tales with 21st century eyes and retells them in contemporary book art form. Ancient stories can tell contemporary truths.

      Featuring works by:
      – Jessyca Broekman
      – Rebecca Goodale
      – Jan Owen Annie
      – Lee-Zimerle
      – Sandy Weisman

      Image: Lilith the Astronomer,Rebecca Goodale, 2022, Ink on handmade Japanese paper, Circle book with cotton braids

    • Voices of Maine’s Lost Synagogues

      November 17 2021 – 7 pm

      View a video of the event

      Jews have been living in Maine for 200 years, practicing in up to 30 active synagogues built to anchor Jewish communities across the state. Half of those synagogues no longer exist. Veteran ABC, CBS and CNN producer, writer, director, and media consultant Jo Dondis will bring together voices of these lost synagogues who will help tell the story of the impressive span of Maine’s Jewish community life throughout the state.

      Join us for this unique opportunity that will bring life to the exhibition on view at the Maine Jewish Museum, housed in the restored 1921 synagogue, Etz Chaim.

      Co-sponsored by The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine, and Documenting Maine Jewry.



      Jessica Lantos, Exhibition Curator and Research Coordinator, Documenting Maine Jewry


      Jo Dondis


      Beth Hillson, exhibition subject and former member, Temple Israel, Old Town-Orono

      Toby Adelman, exhibition subject and former member, Aroostook Hebrew Community Center, Presque Isle

      Babs Shapiro, exhibition subject and former member, Congregation Beth Abraham, Auburn

      View a video of the event

    • Critters:
      Mythical Real & Imagined

      July 19, 2021 – August 21, 2021

      We are pleased to announce our collaborative exhibition with the Portland Public Library, Critters: Mythical Real & Imagined. This exhibit was curated in part by our very own Curator in Residence, Nancy Davidson, and partially sponsored by the Maine Jewish Museum.

      You are welcome to visit the online preview of the works HERE.

      Most of the critters are indeed for sale, and a portion of each purchase will go to the Maine Jewish Museum.

      Opening reception: To Be Determined

      View a video of the show

    • An Artist Talk With Photographer Tonee Harber

      June 16 2021 – 7 pm

      Tonee Harbert’s work considers human intervention on the landscape. This developing series from Tonee’s year-long residency at the Roswell Art Center in New Mexico invokes history and interpretation by looking at what remains from scenarios that once held meaning or utility. Harbert grew up in Oregon, and has lived most of his life in Maine. His photography has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery, Portland Museum of Art, Farnsworth Art Museum, Danforth Museum of Art, ICA at Maine College of Art, and the Center for Maine Contemporary Art. He’s been awarded a New England Emmy award, and his work has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, and in books and motion pictures. He is currently based in Roswell, NM.

      The Bakery Photo Collective is 501-c3 not-for-profit digital and analog photofinishing facility dedicated to persevering the art
      of photography. Their mission is to provide state of the art resources to the public and their members to assist in creating art, honing skills and inspiring others.

      Photograph: Untitled (Forest Fire) Tonee Harbert

    • Fighting White Supremacy in 2021: From Charlottesville to the Capitol

      May 26 2021 – 7 pm

      Presented by the JCA’s Community Relations Council

      From the Charlottesville violence to the Capitol insurrection to the shootings in Atlanta targeting the Asian American community, hate crimes and domestic extremism are at record levels — and we’re facing a dangerous and dire threat of white supremacy.

      On Tuesday, May 25th, join us for a critical conversation with Integrity First for America’s Amy Spitalnick on their groundbreaking Charlottesville suit and how we can fight back against the rising tide of violent hate.

    • Conscience and Courage: Frances Perkins and Feng Shan Ho

      April 25 2021 – 3 pm

      Little Known Heroes Who Saved Lives
      Co-sponsored by the Maine Jewish Museum (MJM) and the Michael Klahr Holocaustand Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC)