There are at least twenty major Holocaust museums in the United States. Memorial Center – A married couple is now planning to build the city’s first Holocaust museum in Boston.
The Holocaust Heritage Foundation was founded by spouses Judi Kepnes and Todd Ruderman in 2018 after participating in the Auschwitz Memorial Tour organized by Life Cycle International. It has now been announced that they have purchased a 1,400-square-foot building near Boston for this purpose.
The couple wants to dedicate the building they just bought to the Holocaust. The implementation cost is estimated at about $11.5 million, according to the Associated Press. The museum will strive to “make the lessons of the Holocaust relevant to new generations,” the press release states. Furthermore, I would like to design the planned museum as an “interactive warning experience”. “The museum will seek to commemorate the victims and survivors of the Nazi regime and many other genocides that occurred before and after the Holocaust,” Todd Ruderman added in their statement.
A local architect, Peter Quinn, has already been hired to design the museum. Quinn previously planned the Holocaust Museum in Dallas, Cincinnati, and Macedonia with Berenbaum Jacobs Associates. The company’s president, Michael Birnbaum, was also a project manager at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington earlier. Kipnis and Ruderman’s business partner on the project is Holocaust survivor David Schaechter, about which a documentary was previously made in 2018.
Funding for the museum has already been determined, according to the couple, although the source was not disclosed at the time of the announcement. Other Jewish groups around Boston do not even want to be involved in the project.
Jeremy Burton, executive director of the Greater Boston Council on Jewish Community Relations, told JTA, “We welcome all efforts to nurture, learn, and teach the legacy of the Holocaust. We appreciate the Museum’s Board of Trustees’ efforts to engage survivors and their descendants throughout Boston.”
Growing anti-Semitism in the United States, including Massachusetts, and concerns about a Russian invasion of Ukraine played a major role in the timing of the founding. The foundation also supports a program that travels to local teenagers in Poland and provides us with reports on Holocaust survivors.
Boston already has an outdoor memorial: the New England Holocaust Memorial. In turn, a planned museum could open up new dimensions in Holocaust education.
JTA – Gyula Sabo
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