Delray Beach Public Library Kicks Off 50-City National Tour of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Americans and the Holocaust Traveling Exhibition on October 6

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association have selected the Delray Beach Public Library to kick off a 50-library national tour of the traveling exhibition, Americans and the Holocaust. The exhibition will open on October 6 and run for six weeks.

The Delray Beach Public Library has 22 individual programs planned during the exhibition, and is one of only two sites in Florida awarded the exhibition.

Delray Beach resident and Konover South CEO David Coppa is one of the original donors of the “Americans and the Holocaust” special exhibition in Washington, DC and is proud that this exhibition has the opportunity to travel nationwide, starting in his own Delray Beach community.

Boca Raton, FL —The Delray Beach Public Library is one of 50 U.S. libraries selected to  host Americans and the Holocaust, a traveling exhibition and educational initiative from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association, which examines the motives, pressures and fears that shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, war, and genocide in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

Americans and the Holocaust – based on the special exhibition of the same name which opened in April 2018, at the Museum in Washington, D.C., to mark its 25th anniversary – will travel to U.S. libraries from 2021 to 2023. In addition to Delray Beach, the Rio Rancho Library and Information Services Division in Rio Rancho, N.M., and Nebraska Wesleyan University library in Lincoln, Neb., are opening the tour concurrently in October.

“At a time when antisemitic incidents are on the rise, the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition takes the lessons of the Holocaust outside of our Museum’s walls in Washington, DC, to the South Florida community starting with the Delray Beach Public Library, and continuing on to 49 more communities nationwide,” said Robert Tanen, the Museum’s Southeast regional director based in Boca Raton, Fla. “We hope that people of all ages and backgrounds will come and learn what Americans knew during the Holocaust, how they responded, and think about what it teaches us about our own roles and responsibilities in society today.”

Americans and the Holocaust will be on display at Delray Beach Public Library supported with a series of related special events, from Wednesday, October 6 to Wednesday, November 17.

“We are honored to be one of only 50 U.S. libraries and one of only two Florida sites selected to host the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition,” stated Karen Ronald, Executive Director, Delray Beach Public Library. “We are excited that thousands of South Floridians will visit and explore this exhibition on America’s role during the Holocaust and be challenged to think about both the missed opportunities to save lives and the impact of those few individuals who took action. We think visitors will be surprised at how much Americans knew about Nazism and the Holocaust and how early they knew it, hopefully leading to fruitful conversations in our community that will prompt questions like, ‘what would I have done?’ and ‘what will I do?’”

Based on extensive new research of that period, Americans and the Holocaust addresses important themes in American history, exploring the many factors — including the Great Depression, isolationism, xenophobia, racism and antisemitism — that influenced decisions made by the U.S. government, the news media, organizations, and individuals as they responded to Nazism. This exhibition will challenge the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the Nazi persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded.

Drawing on a remarkable collection of primary sources from the 1930s and ’40s, the exhibition focuses on the stories of individuals and groups of Americans who took action in response to Nazism. It will challenge visitors to consider the responsibilities and obstacles faced by individuals and organizations who made difficult choices, sought to effect change, and, in a few cases, took significant risks to help victims of Nazism even as rescue never became a government priority.

Delray Beach resident and Konover South CEO David Coppa and his family were some of the original donors of the “Americans and the Holocaust” special exhibition in Washington, DC.

“Our grandfather Simon Konover Z”L not only survived the Holocaust, but also became one of the original supporters of the United States Holocaust Memorial

 Museum,” said David Coppa. “My family and I continue to be significant supporters of the Museum and we are proud that our gift to the Americans and the Holocaust

exhibition and initiative has led to this incredible opportunity to take these critical lessons on tour nationwide, starting in my very own community of Delray Beach.”

For more information about Americans and the Holocaust and related programming at Delray Beach Public Library, visit: https://www.delraylibrary.org/americans-and-the-holocaust/  or contact Kae Jonsons at kae.jonsons@delraylibrary.org. Both the exhibition and programming are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required for all programming. To learn more about the exhibition, visit www.ushmm.org/americans-ala.

Americans and the Holocaust was made possible by the generous support of lead sponsor Jeannie & Jonathan Lavine. Additional major funding was provided by the Bildners — Joan & Allen z”l, Elisa Spungen & Rob, Nancy & Jim; and Jane and Daniel Och. The Museum’s exhibitions are also supported by the Lester Robbins and Sheila Johnson Robbins Traveling and Special Exhibitions Fund, established in 1990.

Additional programming support was made possible, in part, by: David Coppa and Family – in Memory of Simon Konover; Scherr Family Foundation; Sandra & Stanley* Bobb, Jodi & Rodd Macklin, Tammy Mendelson, Beth & Daryle Bobb; and Benjamin and Seema Pulier Charitable Foundation.

About the Delray Beach Public Library

The Delray Beach Public Library is located on Atlantic Avenue in the heart of Delray Beach and is a 501c3 non-profit organization that serves as an essential community resource offering a wide range of services to meet the various needs of the community. Founded in 1913, the library offers patrons extensive book and media collections including audio books, databases, and digital resources. The Library has a variety of Technology Resources with over 40 computers open to the public and internet access, meeting rooms, and a range of programming for all ages.

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires leaders and citizens worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. The Museum’s far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit ushmm.org.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.

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