JB Pritzker Proud of His Work with Survivors to Build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
JB Pritzker Proud of His Work with Survivors to Build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
Chicago, IL – In 2009, JB stood with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and opened the doors to a museum that honors the memory of those killed in the Holocaust and turns powerful lessons of history into positive actions today. It was the culmination of years of work by JB and survivors to make the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center a reality.
Thanks to that hard work, now over 60,000 Illinois kids and teachers come to the museum each year to learn how to fight bigotry and hate. The founding principle of the museum is “Remember the Past, Transform the Future” – an important creed for Americans less than a month after white supremacists descended on Charlottesville.
But in a story out today, the Chicago Tribune tries to reduce the work of JB and Holocaust survivors to a groundless political attack. The story comes as the paper’s pick for governor, Bruce Rauner, has had a horrendous summer and continues to implode. Just yesterday it was reported that Rauner’s former general counsel is the subject of a government ethics complaint.
“JB has nothing but pride for his work with survivors to build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center,” said Pritzker campaign communications director Galia Slayen. “At a time when the phrase ‘Never Forget’ has never felt more relevant, it’s disappointing that the Tribune would try to reduce this museum to be a part of their political agenda.”
Here is more information on JB’s work to help build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center:
1999: JB first became involved in efforts to build the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center when he was approached by two Holocaust survivors around 1999 who sought his help and laid out their vision for the institution.
December 2002: JB Pritzker’s foundation donated over $1.2 million to the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s construction and operating endowment.
IN THE YEARS LEADING UP TO THE GROUNDBREAKING, JB’S FOUNDATION DONATED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MORE TO SUPPORT THE MUSEUM’S EFFORTS
October 2003: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $20,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for their operating budget.
December 2003: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $200,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for their construction and operating endowment.
July 2004: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $25,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for their operating budget.
October 2004: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $20,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for its annual dinner.
December 2004: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $200,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for its operations & endowment budget.
January 2005: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $35,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for their operating budget.
November 2005: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $60,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for its annual dinner.
November 2005: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $50,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for its annual dinner.
December 2005: The Pritzker Family Foundation donated $200,000 to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for its operations & endowment budget.
JB WAS PRESENT AT THE GROUNDBREAKING FOR THE MUSEUM IN 2006 & HELPED RAISE MILLIONS NEEDED TO START CONSTRUCTION
June 2006: JB Pritzker was present at the groundbreaking for the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
2006: As Campaign Chair for the new museum, JB Pritzker announced they had raised nearly half of their $35 million campaign goal, which included both building the Holocaust Museum Center and endowment opportunities.
AFTER THE GROUNDBREAKING, JB PRITZKER CONTINUED TO FUNDRAISE FOR THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM, INCLUDING HEADING UP THE MUSEUM’S ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER
2006-2009: JB Pritzker’s foundation also donated an additional $2.4 million to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for the annual dinner, construction endowment & more.
2009: It was reported that “as campaign chair for IHMEC, has helped raise nearly $40 million of the $45 million needed for the new museum” … “He brought the group from having essentially nothing in the bank to where it is today, several tens of millions of dollars later.”
The Illinois Holocaust Museum Opened In April 2009.
AFTER THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM OPENED, JB PRITZKER SPENT MILLIONS MORE ON FUNDRAISING EVENTS & LECTURE SERIES TO HELP IT SUCCEED
2009-2015: JB Pritzker’s foundation donated over $2.6 million to the Illinois Holocaust Museum for the opening ceremony, the annual dinner, the Chicago Poker Challenge fundraiser and for the Voices of Conscience lecture series.
March 2016: JB’s foundation donated another $5 million to support an innovative way to tell survivors’ stories.
2017: In total, JB’s foundation has contributed over $12 million to the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
THE HOLOCAUST MUSEUM JB PRITZKER HELPED BUILD IS AN AWARD-WINNING, INNOVATIVE MUSEUM THAT EDUCATES AROUND 50,000 SCHOOLCHILDREN EACH YEAR
HEADLINE: “Illinois Holocaust Museum Wins National Award” [Chicago Tribune, 5/26/17]
The Illinois Holocaust Museum Was Awarded The National Medal For Museum And Library Service, The Nation’s Highest Honor For Museums And Libraries. “The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie has been named one of 10 recipients of the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, according to the organization that distributes the award. The award was announced May 15, in a joint news release between the museum and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The accolade is regarded as ‘the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community,’ according to the release.” [Chicago Tribune, 5/26/17]
The Illinois Holocaust Museum Had 104,000 Visitors In 2016, Approximately Half Of Those Were Field Trips From Schools. “From 2013 to 2016, the Illinois Holocaust Museum had 392,000 visitors, compared with 336,000 from 2009 to 2012. Attendance in 2016 was 104,000, a 6 percent increase over 2015. Field trips from schools account for about half the visitors; Illinois law mandates Holocaust education for public elementary and high school students.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, 1/21/17]
Since It Opened In 2009, More Than 2,000 CPD Recruits Have Attended An Ethics Training At The Illinois Holocaust Museum. “It’s a frigid afternoon in the middle of December, and more than 100 Chicago police cadets are exploring the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie… Since 2009, more than 2,000 aspiring Chicago police officers have attended this police ethics training program, the Law Enforcement and Democracy Initiative. The eight-hour course focuses on how German police participated in the dehumanization, systematic oppression, and mass murder of Jewish people, which instructors and police officials say holds powerful lessons that recruits can use on the streets in Chicago.” [Chicago Magazine, 1/31/17]
HEADLINE: “Holocaust Horrors Help Teach Ethics To CPD Recruits” [Beth Steinberg, Chicago Sun-Times, 12/18/16]
THE ILLINOIS HOLOCAUST MUSEUM HAS BEEN PRAISED BY BOTH DEMOCRATS & REPUBLICANS
Daniel Biss On The Illinois Holocaust Museum: “To See What This Institution Has Become – For The Community, For The State, For The Educational Infrastructure For The State Is Really, Really Incredibly Meaningful To Me.” “State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-9) said that the museum, located in his district, has great personal meaning for him. His parents survived the Holocaust, he said, and his cousins — survivors and long-time Skokie residents — have volunteered at the Holocaust Museum ever since it was housed in a small storefront on Main Street. ‘To see what this institution has become — for the community, for the state, for the educational infrastructure for the state is really, really incredibly meaningful to me,’ he said.” [Skokie Review, 10/28/15]
State Rep. Laura Fine Called The Illinois Holocaust Museum “A Gem In My District.” “‘This is the gem in my district,’ echoed State Rep. Laura Fine (D-17). ‘It has so much meaning to everybody here and we need to make sure it has (that meaning) for everyone around the state.’ Fine relayed a recent experience visiting Auschwitz with her husband and seeing Israeli students draped in Israeli flags and singing. ‘This is a group of students saying this could never happen again and the only reason it can’t is because we can’t forget that it happened in the first place,’ she said.” [Skokie Review, 10/28/15]
House Republican Leader Durkin Praised The Illinois Holocaust Museum And Noted It Was Important To Teach Young People The Importance Of Standing Up To Prejudice. “Jim Durkin (R-82), the House Republican leader in Springfield, also made a case for the importance of the museum— not just to remember the past, he said, but to address the present and future as well. ‘After the Holocaust, the world has experienced repeated genocide since the end of World War II including the tragedies of Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia,’ he said. ‘The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism and stereotypes.’ Recent events, he said, ‘show us how important it is…to teach young people the importance of standing up in the face of hatred, prejudice and speaking out.’” [Skokie Review, 10/28/15]
Laura Bush Said The Illinois Holocaust Museum “Has A Great Role To Play In Holocaust Education.” “The former first lady’s interest in the Holocaust. Her father’s infantry division liberated Nordhausen; he sent photos to her mother, writing ‘tear it up’ on the back of a photo showing rows upon rows of bodies. The Illinois museum ‘has a great role to play in Holocaust education,’ [Laura] Bush said.” [Crain’s Chicago Business, 3/9/17]
President Bill Clinton Attended The Opening Of The Illinois Holocaust Museum And Said It Was Important To Have A Holocaust Museum There Because It Was “In The Heartland Of The Country.” “The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center opened its doors to a new chapter on Sunday, as an estimated 12,000 people attended the opening ceremony… ‘We don’t want the only people learning to be in Washington, New York and Los Angeles,’ former President Bill Clinton said to the crowds gathered under tents. ‘I think it is important that this place of remembrance and learning is here, not only because of what happened in Skokie three decades ago but because it is in the heartland of the country.’” [NBC Chicago,7/14/09]
Sen. Silverstein: “We’re So Proud To Have The World-Class Illinois Holocaust Museum In Skokie” [@SenSilverstein, Twitter, 5/16/17]
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