Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida
Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida is one of the most underrated museums in Central Florida. The museum is located in Maitland – at the corner of Maitland Blvd. and Maitland Ave. The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida is more than just a museum. In fact, it is a nationally and internationally recognized facility. Learn more about this hidden gem that houses Holocaust memorial resources and education.
The Mission of The Holocaust Memorial Center
Its main mission is to use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to create a just and caring community that is free of anti-Semitism, injustice, and bigotry.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida has done extensive outreach including educational and cultural programs and exhibits. They use the lessons of the Holocaust as a tool, and teach the principles of good citizenship to people of all ages, religions and backgrounds.
History of The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida
The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of FL was founded in 1981 as a Holocaust Project of Valencia College student Tess Wise. Tess was a Holocaust Survivor from Poland who was living in Central Florida at the time.
The Holocaust Project includes a broad cross-section of community leaders and organizations. This was also a time period when Holocaust research and education was a new concept. Holocaust survivors were just starting to Founder Tess Wise believed that studying the historic, social, moral and ethical lessons of the Holocaust and its history would be proactive in preventing a tragedy like that from happening again.
Legacy of The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida
The leaders of The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida have always been dedicated to building a respectful and inclusive community that celebrates diversity. They have taken the vision of Tess Wise – to use the lessons of the Holocaust as a lens through which we can better understand human rights.
New Expansion in 2022
This year, the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center will be undergoing an expansion and relocation to downtown Orlando. It has become part of Orlando’s “Cultural Corridor”. The city of Orlando’s Cultural Corridor includes a wide variety of establishments including art museums, galleries, science and history museums.
The new museum will also be rebranded as the Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity. Additionally, the new museum will become one of 177 locations to contain the entire digital collection of survivor testimony complied by the USC Shoah Foundation. This includes over 115,000 hours from 55,000. This new museum is going to be breaking ground in 2023.
The New Museum and Building
The new building will be increase the number of students who can visit the museum in person. In the 2018-2019 school year, the museum provided programing for more than 25,000 students.
“What I still hear on a regular basis is that people don’t know that we’re here,” she said of the original building at the Maitland campus. “So let’s start there by saying that we exist. We’re here and we’ve already started these conversations and this work.” Source
A Peace of My Mind
Photography by John Noltner
Special Exhibition | September 8, 2022 – December 4 2022
“A Peace of My Mind” is a new exhibition coming this September at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. This is a thought-provoking multi-media arts project. It was created by award-winning photographer John Noltner. The exhibit features portraits and personal stories to bridge divides and encourage dialogues.
The exhibition will also feature existing portraits and stories – 50 Central Florida faces in an interactive video presentation along with highlighted stories that are part of the installation.
There will be an opening reception will be held on September 8, 2022, from 6pm-8pm. The opening reception will feature a keynote introduction by the photographer himself – John Nolter. Guests will get first access to the exhibition. This is a free event but with advance registration. Register Here.
Weapon of Choice
Photography by Richard Johnson
Special Exhibition | December 12, 2022 – March 12, 2022
“Weapon of Choice” is another new exhibition that arrives this December at the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida. It features the work of photographer Richard Johnson and is an exhibition that is curated by Snap! Orlando. His work portrays the invisible pain caused by verbal abuse. These are portraits that feature children and adults with hurtful words painted on their faces or bodies. These portraits challenge the viewer to examine the choice and impact of their own words.
The museum also features several permanent exhibitions. Its permanent exhibition presents an overview of the history of the Holocaust and serves as a memorial to its victims. Exhibitions feature several mediums including photographs, texts, artifacts, artworks, and a short film.
Permanent exhibitions at The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida include:
The Early Years – exhibit represents Jewish life before the Holocaust through a display of items, including a family Torah, passports, photos, and letters
War, Persecution, Ghettos, and Camps – Panels describe how the Nazis began the destruction of the Jewish communities by forcing Jews into ghettos in Poland and other occupied countries.
The Jews and Resistance – Reveals how Jews did fight back at every opportunity, as shown in text and photographs.
Witness Histories: Survivor and Liberator Testimonies – “Our Story,” features the histories and images of local survivors and a video presentation that introduces museum visitors to local Holocaust survivors and liberators.
Artifacts and Works of Art – pieces of art, including dolls made in camps, sculptures created by survivors, posters, and original works of art
Visit The Holocaust Memorial Recourse & Education Center of Florida
Now, more than ever, we need to spread awareness and education the community on the history of the Holocaust. In January of this past year, there was a neo-Nazi demonstration in Orlando, FL. On January 29, the group held a rally at the intersection of North Alafaya Trail and Waterford Lakes Parkway. Make a visit to the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida for a weekend or day trip to Orlando and explore this local spot.