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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Jewish History in Baltimore
All-Day Tour

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1ND024

There have been Jews in Maryland and Baltimore since the 17th century. The mid-19th century saw that population significantly grow when German-speaking Jews from Central Europe—drawn to America for economic, political, and social reasons—clustered in East Baltimore. They were in turn followed later in the century by an influx of Yiddish-speaking Jews from Eastern Europe. Join museum education consultant Sheila Pinsker to explore the history, culture, cuisine, and architecture that grew out of Baltimore's rich and diverse Jewish heritage.

Visit the Jewish Museum of Maryland, its current exhibit, and its landmark sites: the Federal-style Lloyd Street Synagogue (1845), third-oldest in the United States, and the Moorish B'nai Israel (1876) the oldest Baltimore synagogue in continuous use. Follow the east-to-northwest migratory path as Jews prospered and moved their homes and their houses of worship to the suburbs. Explore Baltimore Hebrew Congregation (formerly Lloyd Street) whose chapel contains 16 large stained-glass windows depicting the themes of Genesis and creation. Continue to Chizuk Amuno, the former B'nai Israel, with its own museum of Judaica and Baltimore history, and the Hendler Learning Center, which features a three-dimensional timeline of Jewish history set against a backdrop of world civilization from the Biblical period to the 21st century.

Along the route, tour a modern mikvah (for ritual immersion), and have lunch at David Chu's China Bistro, a Zagat-rated kosher restaurant.

8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., by bus by bus from the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street, S.W. (corner of 6th and C Sts.), with a pickup stop at the I-495 Exit 27 carpool parking lot at about 8:55 a.m.

There are steep stairs on this tour.

Other Connections

View a story of history and heritage in The Jews of Baltimore, director Seth Golob’s brief documentary.


Departs from the Holiday Inn Capitol at
550 C Street, S.W. (corner of 6th & C Sts.)
Fringe stop: I-495, Exit 27 carpool parking lot