Last year I finally got to check TWO huge items off my bucket list:
1) Meet a Holocaust survivor
2) Visit the Museum of Tolerance
Located in West Hollywood, the Museum of Tolerance is formerly the Holocaust Museum, and is affiliated with the Simon Wiesenthal Center Jewish human rights organization. They have since changed the name from the Holocaust Museum to the Museum of Tolerance because the focus when sharing about the Holocaust is preventing hate in our world. Um, do we need this museum now more than ever or what?!?
Okay, I’ve got to be honest: the exhibits themselves are a little bit old fashioned/90s, but the content is superb. Worth looking beyond the needed update to experience the amazing content.
On the bottom floor is a Holocaust exhibit where you get an identity card of someone affected by the Holocaust, then you go through the exhibit which includes two hallways, one for “able-bodied”, and one for “women/children/others”, and they lead into a gas chamber replica that is super, super, super chilling. At the end of the exhibit, you learn the fate of the person on your identity card. You know how this horrible story ends: the vast majority of cards don’t have happy endings.
But the best and most moving part of the museum, by far, is their DAILY talks by Holocaust survivors. Every single day they are open, they guarantee at least one person will talk. I was fortunate enough to go on a day where they had two different sessions by two different survivors. You guys, at some point in the near future, there will be no living Holocaust survivors. The time to meet one, ask questions, and hear their very personal and moving story is growing short.
If you are in the LA area or travel there, please try to make the Museum of Tolerance one of your must-dos. I know for me, now that I have been and experienced it, I will try to go at least once every single time I’m in southern California.
Please note that the Museum of Tolerance and the Simon Wiesenthal Center is closed on Saturdays for Shabbat and on Jewish Holidays, and because of Shabbat rules, during the winter the sun goes down earlier on Friday nights and that affects the hours too. Basically, check the website’s calendar before you make plans to go!
Sarah Likes Today:
Museum of Tolerance