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VHM welcomes, educates 50,000 visitors a year

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By Samuel Asher, Executive Director, Virginia Holocaust Museum

The Virginia Holocaust Museum has a unique role in preserving and documenting the Holocaust in our community and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Through our permanent exhibits, featured temporary exhibits, educational programming, and community outreach, the museum uses the history of the Holocaust and other genocides to educate and inspire future generations of Virginians to fight hate, prejudice, and indifference.

Throughout my professional career, I have served with Federations around the U.S. and Canada. On every mission trip I made to Israel, I was told, “Now is the most important time to visit Israel.” But at this moment in history, NOW truly is the most critical time for Israel. And it is up to every member of the Jewish community to do what it can, where we can to support her in her hour of need.

The Museum is attempting to do its part. Each of the 50,000 visitors a year that come and visit us are educated on the vital role Israel played in welcoming the displaced Holocaust Survivors that literally no other country in the world wanted. In our Museum Shop and Bookstore, whenever possible, we try to purchase items from Israel to showcase.

As I pen these words, construction workers are hard at work constructing our Dimensions in Testimony Theater, in collaboration with the USC Shoah Foundation, that will allow us to preserve the experience of meeting with Holocaust survivors through their interactive testimonies, from now and into the foreseeable future.

In a few short weeks, we will welcome another class of teachers into our Alexander Lebenstein Teacher Educational Institute to learn the best practices on how to teach about the Holocaust in their classrooms.

I have said it before, and I will say it again, if you have not been to the Museum in a while, there has never been a better time to visit. We are open seven days a week. Each time you visit us, you will walk away better for the experience, having learned something new and valuable.

The newly renovated front end area of VHM – a wide-angle look at the space.