Volunteering at the Jewish Museum London

by a Museum Volunteer

Around nine or ten years ago I noticed an advertisement in the London Jewish News for volunteers at the Jewish Museum in Camden Town. I realised I had never been to the museum and the idea of volunteering appealed to me, so I made an appointment and was delighted to be offered the role. The museum was such a lovely place to visit that I regretted not having visited before.

I spent many enjoyable hours with my very knowledgeable fellow volunteers helping visitors, explaining the meaning and use of the objects, and learning a lot myself.

The museum then closed for a complete refurbishment for three years and during this time some of us continued to volunteer at Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City manning an exhibition.

Four years ago we reopened as a larger museum with even more objects in the beautiful galleries and a café too. I wanted to learn a new skill so when we were asked to pick a role I chose to work in the renovated shop. We had to go through training to operate the new computerised till, where on my first day I met my partner in the shop, Meta, and we have been “stuck together” ever since.

We love each other’s company and share the same enthusiasm for retail. Our job involves selling admission tickets to the museum, as well as shop goods, and helping visitors with enquiries ranging from directions to questions about various aspects of the museum. People have also brought in objects which they need advice on and we help get them on the right track.

We are very well looked after by Leonie and Emma (ed: our Visitors Services team) who organise outings with food and other events and seminars which keep us all involved. They are always on hand to offer support especially when Meta or I press a wrong button on the till!

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