Groundbreaking Ceremony is a Major Milestone for Oldest Holocaust Museum in the U.S.
By Dolores Quintana
November 21 marked a significant moment for Holocaust Museum LA, the first survivor-founded and oldest Holocaust Museum in the United States, as it initiated a groundbreaking ceremony for a major expansion of its Pan Pacific Park campus as reported by Business Wire.
Government officials, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath, Los Angeles City Councilmember from District 5, Katy Yaroslavsky, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, California State Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, and California State Senator Ben Allen, joined Holocaust Museum LA CEO Beth Kean and Holocaust survivors at the event.
Designed by award-winning architect Hagy Belzberg, the Jona Goldrich Campus will include outdoor reflective spaces, expansive galleries, and classrooms, and a theater for survivor talks, film screenings, concerts, conferences, and public programs. It will also house a pavilion featuring a boxcar found at the Majdanek death camp in Lublin, Poland, and a dedicated theater for a holographic exhibition featuring a virtual survivor conversation.
The recently unveiled “Flame of Courage,” honoring Arnold Schwarzenegger for his stands against antisemitism and hate, will be located on this new campus.
CEO Beth Kean emphasized the museum’s commitment to combating antisemitism and hate through education and enlightenment. She stated, “Holocaust Museum LA is digging in with its shovels and our hearts to continue building an institution dedicated to eradicating all forms of antisemitism and hate through education and enlightenment. We will continue to honor both the memories of those who perished and our beloved survivors.”
The expansion, doubling the museum’s footprint, will increase visitor capacity, including additional student visitors. It will incorporate cutting-edge technology for preserving Holocaust survivor testimonies and spaces for temporary and traveling exhibits. The completion of the new campus is anticipated in 2025.
Holocaust Museum LA received the lead gift from Andrea Goldrich Cayton and Melinda Goldrich, daughters of museum founder and survivor Jona Goldrich, to name the new campus. Other significant contributions include naming the pavilion by the Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation, and the theater by the S. Mark Taper Foundation. The Smidt Family Foundation also made a historic contribution, marking the largest-ever gift from a family or foundation not directly connected to Holocaust survivors or victims.