New Museum

Building a Foundation of Hope

Dear Fellow Supporters,

The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance has played an important role in our community for the past 33 years. Originally named the Holocaust Memorial Center and located on the ground floor of the Jewish Community Center, our mission was to keep alive the memory of those lost in the Holocaust. Today, our mission has expanded to include teaching the history of the Holocaust, and advancing human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference.

The Museum is currently in a rental location and no longer able to meet the demand of 86,000+ annual visitors from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Because of these severe space constraints, our board has launched a campaign to build a state-of-the-art, 55,000 square foot permanent home in the historic West End, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. This new Museum, with its dramatically larger facilities and expanded educational and
cultural programming, will galvanize the North Texas community to learn the lessons of the Holocaust to combat hatred and injustice.

Today we are at a crossroads. Thank you for helping us take the next step in our journey to be able to teach more teachers, educate more students, and ultimately transform Dallas into a city of Upstanders.

With great appreciation,
Campaign Cabinet Members of the "Building a Foundation of Hope” Campaign:


Rebecca Fletcher

Frank Risch

Ron Steinhart
Members: Kenny Goldberg, Tom Halsey, Jim Hogue, Hylton Jonas, Stan Rabin, Larry Schoenbrun, The Honorable Florence Donald Shapiro, and Steve Waldman.

Case for Support

The Case: Local and Global Relevance

The Museum’s duty to combat hatred has never been more critical than it is today. One need only read a local newspaper or watch the news to know that acts of violence, fueled by hatred and prejudice, are on the rise, both around the globe and here at home.

Global Relevance

  • There are 85 active hate groups in Texas, more than in any other state
  • Dallas experienced the deadliest attack on law enforcement since 9-11 with the murder of five officers on July 7, 2016
  • Over 1 billion people in the world harbor anti-Semitic attitudes
  • Immigrants, refugees and vulnerable groups are under severe scrutiny in the media
  • Terrorist attacks across the globe are on the rise
  • Genocidal activity is happening today in places such as Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and the Central African Republic
  • There are 72 active KKK chapters in the U.S. as of 2017

Local Relevance

  • There are 31 chapters of the United White Knights of the KKK in Texas
  • Incivility in public discourse is growing. A school bus of co-eds was filmed chanting racist songs – their chaperones did nothing to stop this behavior
  • Bystander behavior is the norm. Bullying, violence, and suicide are rising with the increased use of social media
  • The number and influence of hate groups is increasing around the globe


  • The needs of the North Texas community have outpaced the Museum’s resources due to the growing demand of schools and families
  • The current Museum, located in a 6,000 sq. ft. leased space can accommodate no more than 240 visitors at one time
  • The 120-seat theater, where students and visitors hear live testimonies from Holocaust survivors, is “standing-room only”
  • The Museum’s archives are overfilled with critical documents and rare historical items
  • Most Museum programs must be held off-site
  • Despite these constraints, the Museum’s visitorship continues to grow substantially each year—from 46,190 visitors in 2012 to almost 80,000 in 2016—and its relevance has never been more evident
  • Educators use the Museum as a classroom extension and increasingly request curricula and training to equip themselves to answer difficult questions about hatred, bigotry, and violence from their students


Students make up half of all annual visitors to the Museum. In May 2015, the Museum commissioned an independent study, surveying approximately 1,100 high school and middle school students and their teachers, before and after their visits. The findings are encouraging. They show students blazing a trail of change in their communities.

Effects of Education

  • Understanding that passive actions/bystander behavior have negative impacts increased by 56.8% for middle school and 31.1% for high school students
  • Capacity to examine their own behavior increased by 19.4% in middle school and 15.7% in high school students
  • Awareness of how their behavior influences others increased 35% in both middle school and high school students

Behavior Change
Teachers noted student behavior changes. Those who visited the Museum at least once a year for three consecutive years provided an assessment of observed changes in their students’ behavior following visits to the Museum:

  • Over 78% of the teachers surveyed noted students are more tolerant of others and toward lifestyles different from their own
  • 79.3% indicated students are more open about sharing their own beliefs and considering the beliefs of others
  • 72.6% said students are more questioning about authority and what is considered legal
  • 83.3% said students are more willing to stand up for others

Videos & Brochure



Building A Foundation of Hope Brochure

Exhibit Narratives

Embrace Ideals - Challenge Reality - Participate in Repair

Why the Jews?
It is critical to start the Holocaust exhibition with an orientation on the history and beliefs of the
Jewish people. Visitors will learn about the 2,000-year history of Jewish persecution and alienation. This background answers the questions, “Why the Jews? Why were 6 million Jews deliberately murdered during World War II?”

Next, visitors will be confronted with a visceral exposé of Hitler’s world view and his rise to power in Nazi Germany.

Continuing in the “Shoah” exhibit (the Hebrew word meaning “catastrophe”), visitors will see
the savagery of the Einsatzgruppen – the killing units, the incomprehensible number of 43,741
distinct ghettos, concentration and slave labor camps, and the Final Solution of deportation to
extermination camps.

The exhibition will highlight Dallas survivor and liberator testimonies as well as a World
War II Boxcar.

Moving forward from the Holocaust, the Human Rights and Genocide section will focus on three seminal and inter-related events and declarations: the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Visitors will explore their significance in the wake of World War II. Next, visitors will learn about Dr. Gregory Stanton’s pivotal definition and classification of genocide. Ten provocative
installations will depict historical and contemporary genocides each illustrating one of Stanton’s Ten Stages of Genocide.

Visitors will then enter the Pivot to America exhibition, beginning with American Ideals, American Reality, American Repair—an exploration of our nation’s inspirational ideals and how to bring them to life.

The narrative continues with a discussion of modern-day issues of cultural diversity and inclusivity in the Beyond Tolerance Theater. Visitors are inspired to acknowledge their biases and confront bigotry.

The presentation fosters understanding of ideals that are as relevant today as when they were first written. The key is our active participation in their continued evolution and development.

The visitor experience culminates in a “call to action,” a challenge to embrace ideals, challenge reality and participate in repair. Through social media channels, we will connect with our visitors and provide access to activities and organizations that everyone can join to start to make a difference.

The concept is that even in the face of radical evil and injustice, we must never give in to complacency. Volunteerism, charity, kindness, civil discourse, and social conscience are ideals meant to be learned and fostered, not merely admired.

The goals of the “American Ideals, Reality & Repair” and “Call to Action” sections of the Museum are to:

  1. Illuminate the ideals, spirit, and aspirations at the founding of our democracy and their continued relevance today
  2. Underscore participation as the key to the continued evolution of our ideals--the obligation bequeathed to us as the price for freedom and equality
  3. Provide the channels to take the first steps to becoming involved on a local or global level

Gathering and Learning Spaces

A Place for Gathering

The new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum will bring to Dallas exciting new gathering spaces. The building will include:

A state-of-the-art Cinemark XD Theater will provide high quality, immersive, premium large format presentations of high-resolution digital media. The theater will have a 50-foot wide screen, 250 large, theater seats, installed on stadium risers to provide an unobstructed view of the screen, and a stage for panel discussions and individual presentations.


A large welcoming entry space diagonal to the Sixth Floor Museum draws visitors in from the
Museum’s urban setting in the Historic West End District of Downtown Dallas.

Visitors will enter the Museum through its spacious lobby which overlooks the outdoor
courtyard with its garden providing a versatile venue for Museum events. Groups are
directed to the far end of the lobby where a bright portal beckons visitors to enter. It is here that visiting groups meet, docents greet visitors, and the exhibitionary journey begins.

Memorial and Reflection Area
The Memorial and Reflection Area is meant to provide a place of quiet reflection and a gathering area to allow students/group participants to express thoughts or feelings raised during the Museum visit. Also, the original memorial items made and collected by the founders of the
Museum will be installed here.


Classrooms and Distance Learning Lab
Education is central to the Museum’s mission. The Museum is proud to have two professional Historians on staff who provide in-depth training for teachers at more than 15 workshops each year.Teachers view the Museum as an extension of their classrooms and depend on us to provide training and curriculum support on the Holocaust and human rights.

Two high-tech classrooms will allow our education staff to teach and train even more educators. The classrooms, equipped with moveable walls, will be available throughout the day for teacher and student workshops, after-hours enrichment activities and summer camp programs. A distance-learning lab will make it possible to share lessons with people around the world.

Library / Archive
An expanded library and reading room will provide needed space. A climate-controlled archive will house our growing collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs.

Building and Exhibit Design

Exhibit Design

Creative Direction, Berenbaum Jacobs & Associates
Dr. Michael Berenbaum Historical Expert, Content Developer and Conceptual Designer
Berenbaum brings unparalleled expertise to his work on museum design using historical
films and innovative approaches to present the Jewish experience and understand the nature
of persecution and genocide. A prolific writer, editor, lecturer and consultant, Berenbaum
served as Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum from 1988 to
1993, overseeing its creation.

Edward Jacobs, Creative Director, Conceptual Designer and Exhibition Designer, is a designer whose main experience is in the fields of interpretive planning, conceptual design and exhibition design. Working with Dr. Berenbaum, Jacobs has been co-conceptual designer and exhibition designer on several museum projects and memorials. For the last 25 years, Jacobs has also been operating his own multi-disciplinary concept and design firm producing public-space projects, spiritual environments, educational centers, synagogue interiors, museum exhibitions an memorial sites.

Professional Management Consulting

ACG is the leading team of professional management consultants who are personally and passionately committed to the creative industries. We are recognized internationally for our expertise, hands-on approach, and extraordinary results.

Creative Media Design and Production

Cortina Productions is a full-service creative media design and production firm. They tell stories in compelling and innovative ways. Their work can be found in museums across the world, including the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Their films and interactive experiences entertain, engage and inform thousands of people every day. They have received 36 industry awards.

Amy Maddox, Principal and Creative Director, and Cortina Production team members, collaborate with museum directors, curators, historians, educators, exhibition designers, and hardware systems integrators to deliver media exhibits that achieve their clients' editorial and educational mission. Amy's 25+ years of producing and directing credits have been honored with numerous American Association of Museum MUSE awards, CINE, Telly, and New York Festival awards.



OmniPlan was selected by The Museum Board of Directors, following an extensive search and competition. Their ability to understand their needs and to create the design desired was realized by their innovative and client-centric team. Founded in 1956 by George Harrell and E.G. Hamilton, the organization remains uncompromisingly committed to designing excellence and integrity in every aspect of its practice. With a staff of more than 50 people in offices in Dallas and Phoenix, Omniplan provides design services to clients nationwide. Their numerous award-winning projects include NorthPark Mall, UT Southwestern research centers, Rayzor Ranch and Fujitsu America.


Austin Industries is one of the nation’s largest, most diversified U.S.-based construction companies. With more than 6,000 employee-owners, Austin Industries provides nearly every type of civil, commercial and industrial construction services through the expertise of our operating companies - Austin Bridge & Road, Austin Commercial and Austin Industrial.

Today, Austin has an annual volume of $2 billion. Our company prides itself on delivering exceptional service on large, highly complicated projects with particular emphasis on qualified teams and performance. Our core values include safety, service, integrity and employee-ownership.

The Time is Now

Letter from the CEO

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I am an educator at heart. Having spent 22 years at The Hockaday School as Assistant Head and CFO, I understand the importance of education and instilling values in our youth. That’s why I’m honored to be leading this institution at such a pivotal time in its history.

I am proud to have started my tenure at the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance as Treasurer of the Board more than five years ago, and I can hardly believe that in the last few years we have grown our operating budget from $1.5 to $2.8 million. More significantly, we have almost doubled our visitorship, programming, staff and outreach!

But as you know, we simply have run out of space in our current rented facility. We are so limited in the number of visitors we can see at one time, many schools are not able to visit on fieldtrips since their class sizes are too large. Our Upstander Speaker Series has become so popular, we have been forced to move these events to other venues. These are all wonderful problems to have, but we urgently have to address our community’s need for education surrounding the history of the Holocaust and its all too relevant lessons. This need has led our board to unanimously approve the “Building a Foundation of Hope” campaign to create the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.

The Museum leadership has worked to develop a fiscally sustainable model of funding for the Museum’s construction and operation. As part of the $73,500,000 campaign budget, a $6.8 million endowment goal has been established for facility support. In addition, $2.5 million is earmarked for operating support for three years as the Museum transitions from a $3 million operating budget with 16 full-time employees to a mid-size organization with more than 30 employees and $5 million budget. The Museum will continue to raise funds through admission,
parking, memberships and contributions. As a former auditor at a Big Eight firm, I can assure you that the leadership is a mindful steward of your generous investment.

In closing, I am thrilled to be leading this organization at such a crucial time. As the mother of two boys, I have a vested interest in making our community, and this world, a place free of bigotry, hatred and injustice.

Thank you for being a part of our 33-year history and for joining me on this exciting new journey towards our future!

Mary Pat Higgins
President and CEO

Most of these local Holocaust survivors were children during the Holocaust, and now they are in their eighties and nineties. Several survivors pass away each year causing the number of survivors able to give in-person testimonies to dwindle. Soon there will be no Holocaust survivors living.

Early in 2016, the Museum gathered together local Holocaust survivors, several whom still speak at the Museum to school children and groups, together for a photograph. The new Museum is a dream of theirs.

The time is now to complete our fundraising and start building.

"We need a place that allows us to have a discussion about what human rights, what diversity, and what respect for others mean for our city today." - Mayor Mike Rawlings

Press Room

Press Releases

Building A Foundation of Hope Brochure