FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WLNS) — Founded in 1984, the Zekelman Holocaust Center (ZHC) first opened its doors on the campus of the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield as the Holocaust Memorial Center and relocated to the current award-winning building in 2004.
The ZHC houses not only their core museum exhibits, but an extensive research library, archives, and a gallery for special art and history exhibits.
“Each year, ZHC reaches more than 100,000 people through our teacher trainings, virtual museum experiences, virtual programs, and in-person visits to the museum,” said Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld. “As the Center continues to grow, so have our educational outreach efforts. To aid teachers in meeting the Holocaust education mandate of Michigan Public Act 170, our teacher trainings now reach schools in nearly every county. In addition, we continue to develop new relationships with school districts and virtual schools, understanding their needs so that every student in the state has equitable access to Holocaust education.”
The founders of the museum were actually Holocaust survivors themselves, and wanted to make sure their story wouldn’t be forgotten.
“We hope through your experience you gain tools to stand up to hatred, antisemitism, and genocide. Together, we envision creating a more tolerant and empathetic society,” said Brennden Bernard, visitor services manager for the Zekelman Holocaust Center.
Today, not only is there a rise in antisemitism, there is a decline in living testimony as we are approaching a time when Holocaust survivors will no longer be with us.
The Holocaust Center’s content focuses on Holocaust victims’ and survivors’ personal stories to help visitors understand how the Holocaust could have happened.