HMREC's hope is that all people feel safe and respected
September 7, 2018
The Journal of Moral Education published an article titled "Holocaust Knowledge and Holocaust Education Experiences" predicting citizenship values among U.S. adults. The research investigated the relationship between Holocaust knowledge, Holocaust educational experiences and citizenship values. The authors concluded that learning about the Holocaust in school, hearing Holocaust Survivor testimony (in person or via electronic media) and visiting a Holocaust museum were the strongest predictors of citizenship values. They suggested that "Holocaust education provides the opportunity to examine fundamental moral and ethical issues related to diversity and human behavior in society, especially the causes and effects of stereotyping and how it contributes to prejudice, racism, and the infringement of civil rights."
For those who know Tess Wise, it is not surprising that she predicted this correlation in 1980 when she founded the Holocaust Project and planned a community-wide conference on the Holocaust and relevant human rights issues. According to Tess' original notes, the purpose of the conference was to "focus on the social, historical, moral, ethical and economic implications of the Holocaust and to show how these relate to current human rights issues facing the world, the country and citizens of Central Florida."
Our Holocaust Center's mission remains faithful to Tess' vision. To use the history and lessons of the Holocaust to create an inclusive community free of anti-Semitism and all forms of prejudice and bigotry. Through our exhibits and programs, we work to build a community where diversity is celebrated and all people feel safe and respected.
At the dedication of our building expansion in 1994, Tess said the following:
A wise man once said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." I know, because I once was there when evil triumphed. If this evil should ever again triumph, it will not be because I did nothing. I know it's important for you to be able to say the same thing to yourself."
Rosh Hashanah is a time for joy, a time for new beginnings, counting our blessings and for standing up and being counted.
On behalf of the board and staff of the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida, Shanah Tovah Umetukah. We hope that you have a good and sweet year.
Ellen Wise Lang, president
Pamela Cash Kancher, executive director