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The Virginia Holocaust Museum was founded in 1997 as a museum dedicated primarily to educating young people.
The mission of the museum includes the following goals:
- To remember the victims who lived through or perished during the Holocaust.
- To combat intolerance, anti-Semitism, prejudice and hate.
- To provide educational materials in the Holocaust Education Resource Center.
- To increase awareness and understanding of the Holocaust in the general community
The Virginia Holocaust Museum was founded in 1997 by Mark Fetter, Al Rosenbaum, and one of Richmond's youngest Holocaust survivors, Jay Ipson, in an effort to preserve and educate people on the atrocities of the Holocaust of World War II. The Museum had a singular mission, "Teaching Tolerance Through Education."
The Museum was originally located in several unoccupied rooms of Temple Beth El in Richmond, Virginia. The Museum flourished and quickly outgrew its limited space by the year 2000. It was then that the Virginia State Legislature donated an old tobacco warehouse in historic Shockoe Bottom to be the new home to the Virginia Holocaust Museum. The new site was dedicated during Yom Ha'Shoah v'Ha'Gvruah (Day of Remembrance and Heroism) in April, 2003.
Today, the Virginia Holocaust Museum features 28 exhibits including "The Ipson Saga," which documents the story of Museum Director and Founder, Jay M. Ipson and his family from pre-war Lithuania, through their escape and liberation.
The newest exhibit, The Nuremberg Trials Courtroom Exhibit, officially opened May 1, 2008 and is the only existing replica of the famous courtoom that set the standard for modern international law.
Also included in the museum, is a replica of the famous Chor Schul (synagogue) in Lithuania, as well as a cattle car and Survivor's Room for quiet meditation and reflection.
Through tours, programs, lectures, films and other events, the Virginia Holocaust Museum strives to educate the public and promote tolerance towards all, regardless of religion, nationality, race, sex or creed.
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