THOUGH the Adelaide Jewish community may be small, it boasts some passionate members who are currently raising funds to establish the city’s first Holocaust museum and education centre. Chief instigator of the initiative is Shoah survivor Andrew Steiner.
Having been involved in Holocaust education for the past 27 years, Steiner recently established Remember the Holocaust Compassion for All – a foundation aimed at raising funds for the development of the Adelaide Holocaust Museum and Steiner Education Centre (AHMSEC).
With the launch of its capital campaign in March, and a website set to go live this week, the foundation plans to open the museum later this year, but needs $270,000 to fit out the space.
Speaking to The AJN, Steiner said that the AHMSEC is set to include important historical information, artefacts, interactive displays, presentations, permanent and visiting exhibitions. It aims to counter the insidious problems of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, emphasising the importance of being an “upstander”.
Steiner is also hoping it will help counter other forms of persecution and discrimination.
“We are against all kinds of injustices and discrimination and working towards a more compassionate world,” he explained. “The Holocaust is the starting point because it is the greatest human tragedy and the greatest example of bullying and indifference.”
Seeking to form links with other minorities, the foundation hopes to work with other groups – including the Armenian, Vietnamese and Cambodian communities – who have known persecution or discrimination.
Steiner’s longstanding relationship with the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide has enabled the partial use of Fennescey House in Adelaide for the AHMEC, while Jewish organisations in Melbourne and Sydney have provided assistance with materials, resources and displays.
Gandel Philanthropy has also pledged to match, dollar for dollar, every donation up to $100,000.
With the aim of engaging a younger demographic aged 15-25, the foundation is involving Masters of Design students from the University of South Australia to design the gallery interiors.
For more information, visit www.ahmsec.org.au. To make a donation, contact Sue Drenth on 0419 486 476, or email [email protected]