What's New

Major Grant Received for Upcoming Exhibition and Programs on
Maine's Jewish People, Communities, and Culture

The Maine State Museum has received a major $40,000 grant from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation to organize and present an 18-month exhibition and related programs about the 170-year story of Jews and Jewish communities in Maine. The exhibition is scheduled to open at the museum in mid-2018.

"The grant from the Sam L. Cohen Foundation is the largest private foundation award that the museum has received for a specific exhibition," said Museum Director Bernard Fishman. "The grant is a testament to the interest in this subject, the compelling stories that the exhibit and its related programs will tell, and the high quality of the team assembled to plan and implement the project. We are grateful for the Sam L. Cohen Foundation's confidence in our efforts, which will result in the most comprehensive public exhibition on Maine Jewry yet presented in our state."

Through a grant from the Maine Humanities Council, the exhibition's guest curator, Amy Waterman of Brunswick, has already begun work on the project. She has conducted two focus groups, inaugurated a survey of historical and contemporary objects and photographs for possible exhibition, and worked with the project team to draft the exhibit's themes. These themes include the Jewish immigrant experience in Maine; geographic spread of communities throughout the state; Jewish religious, community, and civic life; and the working lives of Maine's Jewish people. The planned themes will also explore difficult topics of tensions and accommodations between Jews and non-Jews, as well as the non-religious elements of Jewish culture.

For questions or more information about the Maine State Museum's upcoming exhibition on Maine's Jewish communities, contact Maine State Museum Director Bernard Fishman at Bernard.Fishman@Maine.gov.