Workshop on Jewish History Feb. 28

Rachel Cylus,  the program manager at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, will be on campus Feb. 28 to conduct an open workshop about what historical religious sites mean, focused on East German synagogues. The workshop, titled “Synagogues without Jews” is free and open to the public.

Rachel Cylus will talk about the role of historic religious sites on Feb. 28.
Rachel Cylus will talk about the role of historic religious sites on Feb. 28.

Cylus will also be helping students in German 315 create a museum exhibit to open the last day of Block 6 in the Thomas Commons and will hold a lunch talk for students interested in working in museums.

Cylus is program manager at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, where she creates, plans and organizes public programs related to current exhibitions to create educational and engaging programming for diverse audiences. She is a former German Chancellor Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She spent her fellowship term working at the Centrum Judaicum (Jewish Museum) in Berlin. At the Centrum Judaicum, she assisted in the development of an exhibit about a Jewish art museum that was disassembled during World War II, and participated in the ongoing process of rediscovering and restoring that artwork. While in Berlin, she also visited and worked with sites primarily in former East Germany with the goal of understanding the current state of historic synagogue buildings in Germany, as well as the role of both these buildings and the organizations that manage them, in presenting and preserving history and culture. She has previously worked for the Vilna Shul museum in Boston, and teacher education workshops with school groups of various ages. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from the Johns Hopkins University.

Cylus will help German 315 students develop an exhibit of art, historical documents and catalogue texts based on the pre-Nazi historical period known as the Weimar Republic. Rachel speaks fluent German and will advise the students as they work on their project not only linguistically, but also as a museum professional: How do you select works for an exhibition? What qualities about the work need to be conveyed to the audience? How much historical background do you need? How can you shape space that is both public and shared?

The exhibit will open on March 5 in the Thomas Commons.