Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An Intern's JHSGW Experience

My name is Stacey and this is my first and sadly, last blog entry for JHSGW. I was an intern here for the past month or so before I begin a master’s program in museum education at GWU next week. I hope to someday be an educator at a Jewish museum, so my time here has definitely been valuable. What does an intern at JHSGW do? A little bit of everything! Besides the obligatory intern tasks of making copies and preparing mailings, in my short amount of time here I helped curatorial assistant David lead tours of our historic synagogue, made preliminary plans for bus tours of Jewish sites in both Philadelphia and Richmond, created an evaluation form to send to educators whose classes have taken field trips here, and even got to pick up a copy of Obama’s presidential proclamation of Jewish American Heritage Month at the White House (during which I had a brief encounter with the First Dog, Bo).

I had a great time here getting a taste of the goings-on at a small Jewish museum. Because of our small size, staff members wear more hats, if you will, than at larger institutions. This means that our curator also leads educational programs and occasionally writes grants, our assistant archivist is also our webmaster, and so on. Therefore, I had a wide range of experiences during my time here, and I probably am leaving this internship with a greater amount of knowledge and new skill sets than if I had interned at a larger museum.

I am sad to leave JHSGW, but I hope to continue lending a hand with programs in the late summer and fall. One thing I especially hope to assist with is our youth education programs. Since I was only here in the summer, I never got to experience a class trip to our historic synagogue. We have some terrific lesson plans written for these programs, so I can’t wait to take part in helping kids learn about D.C. Jewish history!

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