Lessons learned

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage has a simple mission with big results. When it opened, the museum wanted to build bridges of tolerance and understanding by sharing Jewish heritage through the lens of the American experience.

The mission is central to the work the museum does each day, touching the lives of thousands in the community and beyond. From schoolchildren to seniors, from the Jewish community to visitors of every race, religion and culture, from Ohio residents to guests from around the globe, the Maltz Museum spreads messages of mutual values and history.

Four years later and through numerous innovative programs led by Executive Director Judi Feniger, more than 120,000 people, including nearly 28,000 schoolchildren from throughout Northeast Ohio have benefited from lessons while at the museum.

Tours on immigration, diversity, the Holocaust and Judaism educate while providing new perspectives on the lives of others, helping visitors gain empathy for the people and stories of the museum.

The museum has proactively engaged the community as a partner by inviting it to join in conversations on the origins of religion, to see precious art and to witness the corrosive effects of discrimination and intolerance but to also experience the hope that truth and justice will prevail for all.

Through innovative ideas, the museum has been able to fill a unique role where the Jewish story merges with the American story to engage visitors of many backgrounds in the contribution of all ethnic groups to American life.

It has a profound impact on visitors, who come away with a heightened level of awareness of hate and discrimination around them.

The museum has such an impact on visitors that some of them take the time to write the organization.

A letter from a student from Chamberlin Middle School in Twinsburg said, “I felt very sad when we saw the video about the slaves and how the Nazis just treated them like they were nothing. They are the same as you and I. I will never look at the Holocaust as something that just happened. Now I know.”

How to reach: Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, (216) 593-0575 or www.maltzmuseum.org