Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Florida Jewish Leaders Quit Holocaust Exhibit Over Controversial Anti-Gay Church Sponsor

Jewish leaders in Florida’s Brevard County said they have removed their support from a children’s Holocaust art exhibit over its sponsorship by a controversial church.

Sixteen community leaders signed an open letter saying that they were pulling their backing for the Children’s Holocaust Museum exhibit set to open later this month at the Space Coast Convention Center in Cocoa. The exhibit, made up of over 600 pieces of student-created art, was created and promoted under the direction of the Word of Faith Church of Spindale, N.C.

Five members of the church were indicted several months ago on charges that they kidnapped and beat a gay man.

“The abuse and persecution of anyone based on race, sexual orientation or religion is not acceptable to us,” the letter said.

The letter is signed by local rabbis, the heads of several local Jewish and Christian organizations, and the Jewish Federation of Brevard, which is located on the east Florida coast.

“We support the children that have created this Holocaust exhibit, and it is important to educate the community about the atrocities of the Holocaust; however, we feel it would no longer be appropriate for us to support this event in light of what we have learned about the Word of Faith church,” the letter said.

The church members are accused of beating Matthew Fenner, the son of church members, two years ago in church after a service, according to The Associated Press. Other gay children of church members have reported similar incidents.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.