Nearly forgot to write about the amazing experience I had at the first ever Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM -- pronounced "JAM") reception hosted at the White House by President and Mrs. Obama. In the photo at right, I'm with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (4th from the left), the original cosponsor of the JAHM resolution.
In the photo at left, I'm on the far right with the JAHM national steering committee in the Blue Room. A total thrill to be included among the smallish crowd-- I serve on the national steering committee for JAHM-- the only representative from a local Jewish museum or historical society. Since JAHM's inception four years ago, JHSGW has been at the forefront -- annually cosponsoring an event on Capitol Hill.
Along with colleagues from across the country, we continue to plan activities to get the word out about JAHM and the contribution of our community to our country. Thrilling at this event to be in the same room as baseball great Sandy Koufax, baseketball great Dolph Schayes, TeaEO of Honest Tea Seth Goldman and even the CEO of Spanx not to mention the owners of Manischewitz.
I got my first taste of Hill lobbying this week when I participated in the American Association of Museums' Advocacy Days on Capitol Hill. On Monday, I attended a workshop revealing insider tips on how to prepare and talk to legislators.
Then on Tuesday, the real deal. Visits to two Congressional offices where along with colleagues from museums across the country we encouraged increased federal support for museums. I joined a group visit to a staffer of our own DC Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton. Afterward, I met with folks in the office of Representative Ed Perlmutter from Colorado. That's me in the back right corner of the photo.
In addition to our museum, I had been asked to represent the Council of American Jewish Museums—the professional group for the more than 60 Jewish museums nationwide. As a former chair of that group, I like to participate and show support however I can to our sister institutions throughout the country. It’s been an interesting experience, and I was able to meet some really interesting new colleagues. And I always love telling folks about our Museum and how our historic synagogue was moved -- it never ceases to amaze.