The Virginia Holocaust Museum ousted its executive director and president, Jay Ipson.
Ipson, 77, a co-founder of the Richmond museum in 2003, said he believes that he was ousted for criticizing insurance companies for denying claims sought by Holocaust survivors, according to multiple news reports. Ipson is a Holocaust survivor.
He will be succeeded on July 1 by Simon Sibelman, the museum’s assistant executive director.
Ipson said he apologized in April for “errors in research and judgment” in a newsletter piece about survivors’ efforts to seek restitution from the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Ipson wrote that he feared he had created the impression that Randolph Bell, a museum board member and a former special envoy for Holocaust issues for the U.S. State Department, was possibly responsible for impeding restitution. He did not name Bell in the piece.
Museum board chairman Marcus Weinstein did not comment on Ipson’s allegations, WTVR-TV in Richmond reported.
“I was hoping to retire on my own, when I could no longer carry myself,” Ipson said, according to WTVR.
A Facebook page, Jay Must Stay, “Dedicated to stop the forced exit of Jay Ipson, one of three founders of Richmond’s own Virginia Holocaust Museum,” has more than 1,200 “likes.”