July 27, 2005 Thanks to all those who made it out to the museum Wednesday, July 27. It was great to see so many new faces. For those unable to attend, we went on a guided tour of the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
- Before the tour started, we all met and introduced ourselves in the lobby. We were greeted by our guide Inge Oppenheimer. Inge grew up in Cologne, Germany and survived Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.
- The tour spanned three floors. The first held beautiful relics of Jewish cultural and religious life from last century. One that struck me was an ornate wedding dress, made in Bombay, that a recent emigre to Palestine had ordered for her wedding. There were also photos of old synagogues from such diverse locales as Turkey, Afghanistan and Cologne (the same shul Inge attended as a child). There was also a section devoted to the influence and inspiration Jews brought to political movements such as Socialism and Liberalism.
- The second floor was devoted to the Holocaust. There were sections, or panels, focusing on lesser known themes such as the war against children, the pattern of deception the Nazis used and the difficulty that many faced in trying to escape before the war. Throughout this section, tv monitors played survivor testimony. The impact of seeing and hearing lived evidence throughout the floor is tremendous. This is what truly makes this museum a "living memorial".
- The third floor was a helpful reminder of the hope and optimism that exist in a post-Holocaust world. A large part was devoted to the founding of Israel, the fight to save Soviet Jewry and the contributions that Jews have made to the modern world.