A Visit To The Jewish History Museum And Holocaust History Center
While in Tucson, Arizona a couple weeks back we decided to visit the Jewish History Museum and Holocaust History Center. The Husband and I had never visited a Holocaust Museum of any type. Friends forewarned it would be depressing. Putting aside the warnings, we went anyway. This was an opportunity to broaden our knowledge of a horrific time in the history of our world.
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The Butterfly Project
Upon arrival we walked into a lovely little courtyard featuring a wall full of butterflies. This Butterfly Project is a memorial to the 1.5 million children that perished in the Holocaust. This installation is one of several across the Tucson area.
The Original Synagogue
Next we entered the Jewish History Building. This was the first synagogue built in the Arizona Territory and was used as such until 1948. Between 1948 and the 1980’s it was used by a variety of organizations. It then sat empty for a time falling into disrepair.
The Restored Temple
In 1994 to save the area from being turned into a parking lot, Tucson citizens started raising funds to restore the building. By 2001 the Temple looked as it had in 1910 and was rededicated as Stone Avenue Temple.
The history museum outlines the earliest Jewish people to inhabit the Arizona area. Displays relate their lives and accomplishments as the territory was settled. Exhibits line the perimeter of the room while the center has been restored to replicate the original Temple.
The Holocaust History Center
Next, we went next door to the Holocaust History Center. Through the histories shared here, we learned more about those who survived the Holocaust and later lived in Arizona. The Center has also highlighted the ongoing genocide worldwide and the global refugee crisis. Heartbreaking and hard to fathom the enormity of this ongoing problem.
Survivors Of The Holocaust
There was a continuous loop video featuring interviews with survivors of the Holocaust. A friendly and very knowledgable docent was on hand to answer any questions.
Overhead there is no ceiling. Open rafters are filled with photographs featuring survivors of the Holocaust.
Times of operations, tour schedules and additional information can be found here. If you live in Arizona or plan to be in Tucson, Arizona, this is well worth your time. The importance of the lessons to be taught here cannot be stressed enough.