The Holocaust Education Center, home to over 700 artifacts from the Auschwitz Concentration Camp (by renowned trailblazer and survivor Mel Mermelstein) is becoming a destination point for middle and high school students and the greater Orange County community coming to learn about the history and lessons of the Holocaust. The experience educates visitors about the dangers of unchecked hatred and the critical need to prevent genocide. At the same time, visitors are guided and inspired with effective tools and methods for tolerance, moral courage, resilience, and personal integrity.
Visitors to the center are motivated to develop a sense of moral responsibility – a call to action – in response to the monumental challenges they confront in our world today. They learn and discover tools and a skill set on how to be an “upstander” instead of a “bystander” in times of communal and personal need.
WHAT WE DO
The Center facilitates and provides museum tours, educational experiences, and interactive, experiential sessions for thousands of middle and high school students across Orange County. For larger groups, and to maximize the impact and lifelong lessons, the Center will have Holocaust survivors address the students, sharing their first-hand accounts of the atrocities and their courageous struggle to survive, persevere, and thrive.
The Center strengthens teacher programs, and develops and distributes curricular materials to schools and educators across Orange County in addition to training new docents.
The Center is additionally developing and implementing new outreach and partnerships, including with private schools, houses of worship, universities, and special interest groups.
Mel Mermelstein was a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Gross Rosen and Buchenwald. He was the only member of his immediate family who did not perish in those infamous death camps. His collection of artwork crafted from artifacts gathered during numerous trips to Auschwitz is the centerpiece of our Education Center.