Never during our lifetimes has it been more urgent to share the lessons of the Holocaust. The American values of moderation and tolerance are straining as weaponized partisanship and social media echo chambers starve American society of broadly shared, trusted information and leaders.
Through the Chaifetz Holocaust Memorial Garden, we look forward to making our campus the regional center of excellence for Holocaust education. Thanks to the vision, leadership and generosity of Edie and David Chaifetz, the Garden will promote awareness of the evils of hatred, antisemitism, and prejudice, and inspire ethical behavior. Edie is the daughter of Holocaust survivors; their family legacy will ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are never forgotten.
The Chaifetz Holocaust Memorial Garden will include beautifully landscaped pathways around a tranquil lake with Holocaust-themed sculptures and spaces for reflection. Educational stations will guide visitors on a journey beginning with Jewish life before the war, honoring the experience and memory of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust, lifting up the stories of our local survivors, and recognizing the courage of righteous “upstanders” and liberators who saved lives.
The Garden’s walk will conclude with the birth of the Jewish State of Israel, whose founding was made possible by refugees from and survivors of the Holocaust.
Florida is one of 20 states that mandates Holocaust Education in K-12 schools. Florida maintains this mandate because there is no clearer, more poignant way to learn what happens when a society abandons the free and respectful exchange of ideas and allows hatred to triumph.
Our Federation is a trusted resource for local Holocaust education. The Chaifetz Holocaust Memorial Garden will make our campus the centerpiece of our partnership with schools and community organizations.
We hope to open the Chaifetz Holocaust Memorial Garden to the public next summer. For more information about how you can support our Holocaust Education Programs and the Garden, please contact us here.