While this milestone anniversary is a time to commemorate all we have achieved together, it is also a turning point once again challenging us to act boldly. Simply put, the world has changed dramatically in the 20 years since the Museum opened; a smaller, more dangerous world requires a bolder response. It is no coincidence that assaults on truth are rising just as we are facing the loss of the survivors—our best teachers. With knowledge of Holocaust history declining and hate—and the indifference that enables it—increasing, we need to change the equation: More people must know the truth concerning the Holocaust and care enough to act.
In launching this historic comprehensive campaign, our primary goal is to keep Holocaust memory alive as a relevant, transformative force in the 21st century. As the global leader in Holocaust education, the Museum is uniquely positioned to address pressing issues, including the rise in Holocaust denial, antisemitism, and hate—and the continuing threat of genocide. This campaign will provide the resources to do so and create greater awareness of the continuing relevance of this history on a global scale.
The $540 million comprehensive campaign is focused on building a stronger endowment and increased annual funds for current needs, while supporting breakthrough work already underway. Campaign key priorities include:
Rescuing the evidence
The Museum is in a race against time to secure rapidly deteriorating evidence while we still can. To ensure we can always teach this history with power and authenticity—and confront denial with irrefutable truth—the campaign will allow the Museum to intensify investments in the evidence across three critical areas:
- Collecting and conserving deteriorating materials;
- Digitizing and cataloging the collection for preservation and universal accessibility; and
- Building a new state-of-the-art Collections and Conservation Center to house the Holocaust collection of record.
To advance the field of Holocaust studies and enhance understanding of how and why the Holocaust happened, the campaign will allow the Museum to foster interdisciplinary study and intensify investments in three vital areas:
- Sponsoring fellowships, campus outreach, international research, publication projects, and seminars for teaching faculty, all geared to developing new scholars;
- Expanding networks and partnerships among scholars and scholarly institutions in the United States and abroad; and
- Acquiring archival collections strategically identified to provide future scholars with unique opportunities for new discovery and understanding.
Global educational outreach
Transitioning to a world without eyewitnesses demands imagination and innovation to transform Holocaust education and genocide prevention into a global field delivering sustainable impact. To shape how generations of young people and leaders understand this history and their role in society, the campaign will provide critically needed resources in three crucial areas:
- Developing innovative digital outreach initiatives to more effectively engage a diverse global audience;
- Creating special exhibitions, training, and research-driven educational materials including case studies of “lessons learned”; and
- Sponsoring fellowships and “train the trainer” programs for key professionals who safeguard civil society.
Building the endowment
Because the lessons of the Holocaust must continue to be taught from generation to generation, one of the major priorities of the campaign is to double the size of the Museum’s endowment. In an uncertain future, the Museum’s unrestricted endowment will provide increasingly necessary permanent resources for financial stability and flexibility to meet emerging challenges and sustain the level of excellence that is the hallmark of our work.