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In Holocaust exhibit, unanswered questions are the point

President and CEO of Museum of Jewish Heritage responds to author’s praise and critique

Re “How Jews have confronted the seemingly eternal scourge of hatred” by Diane Cole

To the editor:

Ms. Cole’s piece explored our newest exhibition, The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do,” offering valid praise and critique. Her observation that the exhibition challenged people to “wrestle with how to grapple with the omnipresent violence fueled by prejudice we hear about daily and sometimes experience ourselves” illustrates what we sought to achieve when the idea of this exhibition was first seeded.

Though Ms. Cole felt the exhibition abruptly ends, leaving the visitor with “unanswered questions” about how to address rising antisemitism, that actually was our intent: to encourage visitors to consider the lessons of the past in shaping how we approach the future. It is that type of introspection – what we all can do to combat hate – that inspires us every day to work toward a better society.

I do applaud Ms. Cole for her analysis; the feedback we receive on any exhibition helps us to better serve our visitors. Our goal is to ensure that the work we share with the world paints a complete picture of Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Some of these issues will come to light in the coming years as we expand this exhibition and, soon, announce other ones that focus on contemporary issues regarding hate and prejudice towards the Jewish community.

Our Museum serves as a living memorial to the Holocaust and the lives that were lost during this horrific period in history While it is essential to acknowledge and remember the past, the Museum also views our role as one that informs and educates to curb hate and antisemitism now and in the future.

— Jack Kliger
President and CEO, Museum of Jewish Heritage

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