(New York, NY)— The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust and leaders of seven Holocaust institutions across the United States today issued a joint statement decrying the antisemitic vandalism at The Florida Holocaust Museum.
The statement was issued by: Mary Pat Higgins, President & CEO, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum; Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO, Holocaust Memorial Center, Michigan; Dr. Kelly J. Zúñiga, CEO, Holocaust Museum Houston; Beth Kean, CEO, Holocaust Museum LA; Susan Abrams, CEO, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center; Jack Kliger, President & CEO, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust; and, Elizabeth Gelman, Executive Director, The Florida Holocaust Museum.
“We unequivocally condemn the cowardly and despicable act of vandalism at The Florida Holocaust Museum on May 27. The abhorrent graffiti and hateful rhetoric that defaced the museum is an act of antisemitism, hatred and violence targeting Jews.
We will not be intimidated or waver in the mission of each of our organizations to educate on the dangers of unchecked hate. Holocaust education increases empathy, improves open-mindedness to differing viewpoints, and creates a greater sense of social responsibility and willingness to stand up to negative stereotyping and discrimination.
The lessons of the Holocaust remain relevant today because Nazi Germany’s ultimate hatred shows how far human beings are willing to go to destroy those who are different from themselves. We need to understand what happens when hatred and prejudice is not stopped.
Hundreds of thousands of people visit our museums each year. The most important lesson we teach about the Holocaust is that history is made through a series of choices and that every choice has a consequence. Choices by individuals have power. At a time when hate crimes and antisemitism are on the rise, we fervently encourage everyone to denounce antisemitic and all hate speech, hate groups and acts of violence.
About The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust is New York’s contribution to the global responsibility to never forget. The Museum is committed to the crucial mission of educating diverse visitors about Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. The third largest Holocaust museum in the world and the second largest in North America, the Museum of Jewish Heritage anchors the southernmost tip of Manhattan, completing the cultural and educational landscape it shares with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage maintains a collection of almost 40,000 artifacts, photographs, documentary films, and survivor testimonies and contains classrooms, a 375-seat theater (Edmond J. Safra Hall), special exhibition galleries, a resource center for educators, and a memorial art installation, Garden of Stones, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. The Museum is the home of National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene.
On view are Ordinary Treasures: Highlights from the Museum of Jewish Heritage Collection and Rendering Witness: Holocaust-Era Art as Testimony.
The Museum receives general operating support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts.