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Museum of the Month

Tzivi Zuckerman

Welcome to “Exhibit,” Bais Yaakov of Baltimore’s once-in-four-years exhibition, in which the 12,000 square feet of the school’s second floor; including ten classrooms, a large all-purpose room, and the long hallways, are transformed by an array of art media that highlight that year’s theme. The theme of this year’s exhibit is “Tapestry of Time: Around the Year.”

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

kever rochel rachel's tombThe brainchild of Mrs. Elise Wolf, the high school general studies principal, the Exhibit’s goal is to involve every student in a hands-on project that will bring some aspect of Yiddishkeit to life. The project was inaugurated in 1995 and has surpassed itself with each successive exhibition.

The research motivates the students to learn and research on their own. Although the Exhibit’s displays are focused on Judaic subjects, the project is a cross-curricular experience. Math, history, and even science figure heavily into the students’ work as they research and construct each exhibit.

In this year’s exhibit, open from December 25 to January 1, many students chose to portray historical events that occurred in their designated month — including film footage of Kristallnacht (Cheshvan), photographs of the Six Day War (Iyar), a prison diorama for the translation of the Torah by 70 Jewish sages (Teves), and a Holocaust display focusing on spiritual heroism during that period (Tammuz).

Math teacher Miriam Hadassah Wexler describes how a student “walked into my class with this giant snake.” It was made of foam and the student needed to figure out how many green pushpins she would need to cover the surface of the snake. It really required a more sophisticated, Calculus II equation, she says, but she improvised by helping the student use some folded papers and string as well as an algebraic equation to calculate the area of the snake’s surface. The calculation yielded a high number and a steep price: “We realized it would cost $750 in pushpins,” says the student. That was a hefty price tag for a snake and the design was adjusted accordingly.

As the countdown to the Exhibit’s grand opening approached, the students grappled with myriad technical challenges; attempting to string items from the tiled ceiling, hang objects on the fabric-covered walls, and construct contraptions that had heretofore existed only in their fertile imaginations. Once again, they succeeded in bringing to life the concepts that are so critical to our lives as frum Jews. 

 

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