MAITLAND, Fla. - Millions of dollars have to be raised first, but big plans are coming together for the Holocaust Center of Florida which has secured a promise of a $1-a-year lease of the old Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Orlando.
“We’re very excited to be moving downtown for a variety of reasons,” said director Pam Kancher, who hopes the greater exposure will make the center a must-see destination for an estimated 66 million annual visitors to Orlando.
Right now, the center is housed in a 7,500 square feet building on the campus of the Jewish Community Center and school on Maitland Avenue.
She said the new building would allow them to design and build a permanent exhibit of almost the same size, with enough room left over to hold meetings, show films and have classes.
Sixth and seventh grade students regularly take field trips to the museum, which then can become a beehive of noise and activity when mixed with visitors from the general public.
Besides displaying artifacts from the Holocaust, the center uses lessons learned from that dark time in history to encourage people today to decide to make the world a better place.
“It also gives us the opportunity to expand the way we talk about the Holocaust and the contemporary social issues that relate,” she said of the larger building on Ivanhoe Blvd.
Students are told the history of Holocaust rescuers, who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis and asked what they would do, if they see someone being mistreated today.