King Jewelers in Aventura hosted an event April 24, 2014, to kick off the Capital Campaign for the First South Florida Holocaust Museum, a 26,000-square-foot museum now under development in Dania Beach by the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center.
The event, at King Jewelers’ showroom at 18265 Biscayne Blvd., included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, raffles and a live auction. All proceeds benefit the Museum.
“We feel very passionately about the Holocaust and the slogan ‘Never Again,’” says Barbara Berman, the salon’s manager. “Along with the 6 million Jews, there were also priests, nuns, Protestants and gypsies who were murdered. We are concerned that the world stood by and allowed the Nazis’ inhumane treatment of their fellow man to go on for so many years.”
King Jewelers donated jewelry for the live auction and debuted a custom-designed gold charm bracelet to raise funds for the new museum. The bracelet, available for a $5,000 donation, is handcrafted with diamonds and precious gems and comes with two charms: one featuring the Holocaust Museum logo and the other, a diamond initial. There will be a large selection of additional charms available for purchase. The bracelet is nondenominational, Berman says.
King Jewelers has supported the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center for several years and previously helped obtain an authentic railroad car from Poland for its permanent collection. The car is one of only nine on display in the world.
“It was an extraordinary effort,” says Rositta Kenigsberg, president of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center, of the effort to obtain the railroad car. “Now they are doing this kick-off event at their beautiful facility and have put together a beautiful charm bracelet, which really says so much.”
The First South Florida Holocaust Museum will be located at 303 N. Federal Highway in Dania Beach and will house and display thousands of eyewitness taped testimonies of survivors, liberators, rescuers and others, as well as an extensive collection of documents, photographs and artifacts. It will also have a research library, teacher resource/reference center, bookstore, traveling exhibition space and a permanent exhibition that will tell the Holocaust story in English and Spanish. The museum will feature two anchor artifacts: the railroad car and a Sherman tank from World War II of the type used during the liberation.
According to the Holocaust Center, South Florida has the world’s third largest population of Holocaust survivors, behind Israel and New York. The purpose of the museum is to preserve survivor stories and to educate people — particularly students — in an effort to encourage them to be vigilant, speak out, take a stand and prevent genocide from happening anywhere in the world again.
While the museum is currently referred to as the First South Florida Holocaust Museum, Kenigsberg says there are naming opportunities available that will ultimately provide both the museum and the building in which it is located with permanent names.
King Jewelers has locations in Aventura and Nashville, Tenn. and has helped raise millions of dollars for South Florida charities through events, galas and auctions.
— Robyn A. Friedman
For more information about the King Jewelers event, call 305-935-4900.