WOODBINE, N.J., (Nov. 16, 2004) – The Sam Azeez Museum (The SAM) of Woodbine Heritage – a museum celebrating the rich Jewish history of Woodbine – announced its new Executive Director today – Jane Stark. Stark -- a well-accomplished and hard-working professional -- joins The SAM with great enthusiasm and anticipates creating wonderful projects to help share the uniqueness and extraordinary value The SAM provides its community.
As Executive Director, Stark will oversee many new exhibits and programs for The SAM including The SAM School Unite Program – an educational program which focuses on Woodbine’s immigrant heritage. This curriculum is designed to teach all N.J. students in Grades 3-5 about the history of Eastern European Jews who immigrated to Woodbine, N.J., the role Baron De Hirsch played in their immigration, the daily life of the immigrants, and how their culture affects us today.
“It is truly an honor to welcome Jane to The SAM,” said Michael Azeez, chairman, The Sam Azeez Museum. “She is an intelligent and innovative woman who will continue to preserve the rich heritage The SAM exemplifies and also create new paths for it to come to life again and again.”
Prior to joining The SAM, Stark was General Manager of NBC 40 (WMGM TV) for more than twenty years. She has been recognized as a pioneer for women professionals and awarded many honors including the State of Israel Bonds (Philadelphia Women’s Division) for her commitment to the community, Atlantic City Weekly’s Top Movers and Shakers, and the Distinguished Service Award from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in relation to her work on the Holocaust Resource Center Advisory Board.
“Having the opportunity to use my internal passion for heritage as Executive Director of The SAM is an honor for me,” said Stark. “I look forward to finding new ways to bring The SAM’s richness to the Woodbine community and at the same time, creating my own history with this wonderful organization, as it will truly become a part of me.”
Stark also serves on numerous Boards including the Board of Directors for Atlantic City’s Greater Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Governors Bacharach Hospital Foundation, the Holocaust Survivor Search Committee, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Atlantic & Cape May Counties, and the Allen Community Life Center of Atlantic City Advisory Board. She has also served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Holocaust Resource Center at Richard Stockton State College, and twice, as President of the Atlantic City Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Stark was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. She has resided in southern New Jersey for 24 years and currently lives in Ocean City. She is the proud mother of one son, Todd and a granddaughter, Raquel Katlyn, aged 8.
Since its opening in 2003, The SAM has hosted many local groups such as Questers and Zachor, as well as visitors from all over the U.S. and abroad, including Canada, Israel and France to see where their families settled and grew up. South Jersey school children are regular visitors to The SAM where they explore the rich heritage of Woodbine.
In addition to the Museum’s visitors, The SAM hosts a number of special events. On December 7 and 14, 2004, in conjunction with The Jewish Board of Education, The SAM plans to welcome elementary grade pupils to celebrate Hanukah with the lighting of the candles in the Sanctuary.
The Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage is dedicated to the memory of Sam Azeez, a longtime resident of Woodbine and a member of the Brotherhood Synagogue. The purpose of the museum is to document and preserve the rich history of more than 600 Jewish immigrant families from Eastern Europe who settled in Woodbine at the beginning of the 20th century. Michael Azeez, Sam’s son, worked with experts from the Philadelphia Jewish Archives to properly preserve all of the original donated items featured in the museum. Both father and son worshipped at the synagogue, which was originally opened in 1896. For more information about The SAM, please visit us on the Web at www.thesam.org