The Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills has opened its newly renovated core exhibit, which now puts Holocaust survivors’ and victims’ stories at the forefront. The exhibition uses new technology and updated historical information to recount their memories and honor their legacy. It re-opened Jan. 28 to a crowd filled with community members and local survivors, who took the stage for the ribbon cutting ceremony with Holocaust Center CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld. 

As a guest enters around the Holocaust sign just past a real box car used during the transportation of people to concentration camps, they’re taken into the lives of Jewish people before the Holocaust. Torahs, shoes, toys, artifacts and quotes from local survivors tell the stories of Jewish people living through the Holocaust. About 400 survivors are living in Michigan currently. 


“One of the things that we’ve included in that last exhibit is that these kinds of terrible things happen because of our context,” says Mayerfeld. “It takes at first a society that is just so extended, broken, and then people find ways to try to take advantage of that. And so, we want people to recognize that and figure out how do you improve a society.” 

One Detroit’s Sarah Zientarski attended the opening ceremony to learn about the changes to the museum and hear from local survivors who were there. She talks with Zekelman Holocaust Center Director of Education Ruth Bergman and Director of Cultural Affairs Mark Mulder, and hears a speech from Holocaust survivor Irene Miller. 

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