Monday, 29 November 2010 10:04
The Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center constitutes an exciting and profoundly meaningful new resource, designed to fill an important and urgent unmet need in the field of Holocaust education.
Located in the Boro Park section of the Borough of Brooklyn, the Center is in the heart of the largest community of Holocaust survivors in the world, outside of the State of Israel.
Interest in, and study of, the history of the Holocaust, and the lessons to be learned therefrom, have never been higher. What makes the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center unique on the North American continent is its focus on the spiritual and moral dimensions to the Holocaust; in particular: Conveying the grandeur of the life of religiously-observant Jewry in Europe, which was so tragically destroyed by the Holocaust; transmitting an appreciation of the spiritual and moral heroism, evinced by so many people who, despite experiencing horrors of unprecedented nature, in conditions well beyond the limits of human endurance, retained their unshakeable faith, and steadfastly maintained their adherence to the practices and traditions with which they had grown up and been imbued; underscoring the miraculous resurgence of the Jewish religious world, in the post-Holocaust era, and the continuity maintained, through profound links with, and deep roots in, the pre-Holocaust world that was destroyed.
The Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center is geared to targeting the widest possible audience, in all age groups, but with particular attention being paid to the young generations, who are furthest removed temporally from the events of the Holocaust, and who are therefore least knowledgeable about it, but who represent the future. Being open to the general public, the Center will attract visitors from all walks of life, and from geographical locations well beyond the confines of Brooklyn. The potential for impact and influence is significant.
The home of the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center is in a beautiful, newly-constructed five-story synagogue building. One floor, covering a total of 5,800 square feet (including a striking atrium area), will serve as the heart of the Center, totally dedicated to it, with additional access to, and use of, all the other floors. State-of-the-art facilities will consist of, and house, an introductory video, setting the scene, and marking the transition from the street to a space dedicated to the Holocaust; a time-line, around the perimeter of the walls of the Center, conveying the history of the Holocaust; a permanent exhibition, revolving around nine themes intimately connected to the Center’s mission; space for temporary exhibitions; a comprehensive library, consisting of both books as well as a videography; an archive of materials relating to the mission of the Center, including materials solicited by the Center; a theaterette; tables and study carrels; computer terminals; booths, for personal-selection viewing, from a menu of programs, prepared specifically for the Center, on different aspects of the Holocaust; seminar and lecture areas; both audio as well as visual recording facilities, to record survivor testimony, as well as educational programs taking place at the Center; computerized links to museums, archives and film and photographs libraries; and facilities for tours, by school groups as well as others, led by trained docents.
Technology, at the most sophisticated level available, will be secured, to enhance the learning process, and, by engaging the senses to the maximum extent possible, achieve the most powerful pedagogical impact.
Elly Kleinman - President
Professor Harry Reicher - Director
Michael Berenbaum is the conceptual developer