‘A game changer in Holocaust education’
A new Holocaust museum will be opening in the city, as reports of antisemitism are on the rise across the region and country.
The Holocaust Legacy Foundation on Monday announced its plans to establish a Holocaust museum along the Freedom Trail.
“As you all know, our world is radically changing, where violent antisemitism is on the rise, and unprovoked war has again been unleashed in Europe,” Holocaust Legacy Foundation co-founder Jody Kipnis said during the “Two Steps Forward against Antisemitism Summit” with local mayors and town officials.
“The timeless and timely lessons of the Holocaust have never been more urgently needed,” she added. “In order for the Holocaust to remain relevant to new generations, Holocaust Legacy Foundation is taking the opportunity to create a powerful museum for all of New England.”
The museum will take its visitors on a very different journey than other Holocaust museums, Kipnis said. The museum will tell the story of what happens when human dignity is desecrated like during the Holocaust, compared to when human dignity is elevated like during the American Revolution.
“The museum will be a valuable educational resource to all the citizens of Massachusetts, New England and beyond, especially to students,” Kipnis said.
“It is our hope that as visitors depart, they ask themselves, ‘What have I learned? How does this relate to the Freedom Trail? And how will I make my mark on humanity to make the world a better place?’ ” she said.
This announcement was made a day after antisemitic graffiti, including a swastika, was found spray painted on Middleboro High School. It was the latest in a series of hateful incidents at schools across Massachusetts, as studies have revealed a significant lack of Holocaust knowledge in younger generations.
This museum will “truly, truly be a game-changer in Holocaust education for all of New England and beyond,” said Deborah Coltin, the executive director of Lappin Foundation, which organized the summit with more than 180 municipal leaders on Monday.
The goal of the “Two Steps Forward against Antisemitism Summit” was to encourage the leaders to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism that Gov. Charlie Baker endorsed last month — and for cities and towns to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day each Jan. 27, so the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten.
Recently, the Anti-Defamation League released a report that said Massachusetts has the fourth highest levels of hate propaganda in the nation. According to the ADL Heat Map, there were more than 12,000 incidents of extremism and antisemitism in the U.S. in 2020 and 2021, and 653 incidents in Massachusetts.