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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Craig Weiner welcomes another group of school kids to the Holocaust Reflection and Resource room he and his wife Barbara founded at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
“We’re so glad that you’re here,” Craig tells them. “Every single one of you.”
For the Weiner’s, Holocaust education is a mission – and a necessity. An April study conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany found 22 percent of millennials hadn’t heard of the Holocaust. 41 percent were unaware that 6-million Jews were murdered. Two thirds were not aware that Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp in Poland.
“It’s very important to teach about the Holocaust,” Craig tells CBS4. “But Barbara and I feel it’s more important to learn from the Holocaust. To learn the lessons that it teaches us about standing up against hate and prejudice and intolerance. And that’s what our mission is, totally.”
Barbara Weiner says the idea for the center came to them during a trip to the concentration camps in eastern Europe.
Barbara says, “That trip changed his life and my life. And he came back and said we have to do something to bring this history alive to the students of South Florida. And that’s when this center started to form in our minds.”
The center, located in NSU’s Alvin Sherman Library, contains historical artifacts from the 1930’s and 40’s, much of it donated from all over the world.
South Florida schools have been planning field trips. Our cameras were there as a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland were taking a tour.
“Today, we see in schools, bullying, we see hate,” Craig says. “We see what just happened at Stoneman Douglas, where this kid had swastikas engraved on his magazines for the bullets. So how can we pretend we don’t know better? How can we not see it? We did see it. and it’s up to us to stand up against hate.”
The Weiner’s, who moved to South Florida from Canada and found success in commercial real estate, have donated enough money to ensure their reflection room will continue to be an educational resource for years to come.
“To us, it was extremely important to make an arrangement with Nova to fund this center in perpetuity,” Craig says. “So it has an endowment fund. And it earns interest. And that money will continually fund this space forever. That way it will never close.”
The lesson of the Holocaust is to never forget. A Holocaust educational facility that will never close, will help in that pursuit.
For more information on the Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room at Nova Southeastern University, go to: http://sherman.library.nova.edu/holocaust