The Museum of Tolerance is the educational arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an internationally renowned Jewish human rights organization. The only museum of its kind in the world, the Museum of Tolerance is dedicated to challenging visitors to understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts and confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination in our world today. Perhaps no other institution offers such a motivational mix of historical discovery and personal empowerment.
On Sunday, January 7th, thirteen men of ILLUMAN SoCal spent an afternoon walking together through the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, reflecting on TOLERANCE in a world more and more INTOLERANT! This sentiment reflected in Steve Gutierrez-Kovner’s question to Holocaust speaker, 93-year-old William Harvey, about how can we address this? Mr. Harvey simply said, “accept your fellow man”. Our convener Jim Cadiz observed that hearing Harvey’s testimony and experiencing how the exhibits bring the reality of racism to the surface even as it touches our modern world, FEAR becomes the prevalent emotion! He reflected, that as an immigrant himself, the ignorance of so many who rationalize their self-interests at the expense of so many, keep aflame the ravages of racism.
Simon Wiesenthal expressed that [this museum] must not only remind us of the past, but remind us to act. It should serve to prevent hatred and genocide from occurring to any group now and in the future. The daunting task was to create an experience that would challenge people of all backgrounds to confront their most closely-held assumptions and assume responsibility for change.*
Cadiz echoes the hopes of the museum’s own vision in reflecting about the many people who are awake and are willing to stand on what is right and decent.
In the photo below, William (Bill) Harvey (F row 2nd from L) stands with the men of Illuman SoCal.