Meet Neal Borden

Every year, Neal Borden brings his grandchildren to the Jewish Museum of Maryland to view the exhibits or visit Lloyd Street Synagogue.

It helps them understand the history of the Baltimore Jewish community – a community in which six generations of the Borden’s grew up. For Neal’s family has lived in Baltimore for more than 130 years. He fondly recalls visiting Lombard Street when there were live chickens for sale; he remembers his grandfather’s dried goods business on High Street in East Baltimore.

“When I show my grandchildren the Jewish Museum’s exhibits, I can tell them my personal stories and help them better understand their family,” he says.

In fact, he’s shown them part of their personal history, having lent his father’s World War II Army Air Forces Medical Corps uniform to an exhibit on American Jews in the Second World War. His grandmother’s turn-of-the-century ketubah also sits in the museum’s collection.

And that’s not all. Neal hopes to go through boxes of other historic family memorabilia and old documents and share them with the museum’s collection.

As for Neal, he and his wife, longtime Jewish Museum of Maryland members, visit the JMM several times a year, to see an exhibit, such as the recent Civil War one, or hear a lecture.

This Jewish Museum of Maryland member ultimately hopes to use the museum’s resources in another way. Part of a Baltimore family that goes back six generations, he hopes to go through the museum’s records and research his history.

“I feel very strongly that we need to know our history to understand who we are,” he says. “It’s very important for us to not lose the history of the Jewish community in Baltimore. The museum preserves this history and makes people aware of it.”

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