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Help Your Child Select an Artifact

Passover Kiddush Cup, Barchfeld, Germany, Gift of Edith RiemerYour assistance helping your child select an appropriate artifact for his or her Living Museum contribute to his or her success participating in this project.  The more interesting and meaningful the artifacts are, the more interesting the exhibition will be. What makes for a good artifact in this context?

  1. The artifact tells something important about your family or a member of your family. A cooking pot is an everyday object, but if you have a cooking pot that your grandmother used to make cholent (Sabbath stew) for her family in Poland and then in Cincinnati, then this pot tells story of how your grandmother took care of her family, both in Europe and the United States, and how, despite the move to a new country, she continued to maintain tradition.
  2. The artifact has been passed down through two or three generations. Something that originally belonged to your grandparents or your parents can be an interesting artifact. This kind of artifact has a long story to tell. If your grandparents escaped from Nazi Germany in 1938 and brought with them a small Kiddush cup, you can tell more stories about this cup than a Kiddush cup that you bought last week at a Judaica store.
  3. Durable objects work best.  Extremely fragile items should be avoided because they might break. For example, a delicate crystal wine cup would not make a good artifact for the Living Museum project because of the high likelihood that it will be broken while being handled or photographed.
  4. Find an object that will photograph well. Avoid very small things (they may require a special camera setting or lens) and avoid things that are hard to identify just by looking at them (even though there will be a label next to each artifact image).