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Supervisor Nathan Fletcher today gained support from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for his policy to open a Holocaust Remembrance Exhibit on a County property starting in April around Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). The exhibit will be educational, highlight the stories of San Diego survivors and be open for one year. Details about the location, opening date and hours will be announced at a later date. Board passage of this effort comes the same week as the United Nations General Assembly-designated International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.

“From Charlottesville to Poway, and everywhere you look online these days, the need for more Holocaust education is self-evident,” said Supervisor Fletcher. “As we’ve done in response to other forms of racism and bigotry, we have a moral obligation to counter rising anti-semitism with education and the pursuit of justice. With the passage of time, we have fewer Holocaust survivors to bear witness to the events that transpired during the Holocaust. One of the most significant things we can do for survivors, as well as future generations, is to tell survivors’ stories, remind ourselves of the lessons of the Holocaust, and commit to speaking out against antisemitism and hate, in all its forms.”

In 2021, the Jewish community in San Diego experienced 38 recorded incidents of antisemitism, including 14 cases of vandalism, 23 incidents of harassment, and one assault. These anti-semitic incidents represented an all-time high (Click here for more stats).  

“Education is the cure for anti-semitism, racism, and hate. We believe this Holocaust exhibit will help create a stronger San Diego County through the lessons embedded in the stories of survivors in our community,” said Sandy Scheller. “I want to thank Supervisor Fletcher for spearheading this important, once-in-a-lifetime effort.”

The Jewish Federation of San Diego has partnered with Scheller and Supervisor Fletcher to serve as the fiduciary of the $25,000 County grant that is being awarded as part of the policy, to help Scheller erect the exhibition, and keep it free-of-charge to the public.  

“The Holocaust is one of the greatest atrocities perpetrated by the absence of humanity. With the creation of a public Holocaust exhibit in San Diego, we will provide an important educational space to learn from our past in an effort to prevent these dangerous ideologies and actions in the future,” said Darren Schwartz, Chief Strategy & Planning Officer, Jewish Federation of San Diego.  

“We thank Supervisor Fletcher and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for approving the creation of a Holocaust Remembrance exhibit,” said Jewish Family Service of San Diego CEO Michael Hopkins. “JFS compassionately cares for Holocaust survivors daily in San Diego and Orange Counties to ensure they age with dignity. This exhibit is a great testament to their resilience and the poignant lesson of what happens when hatred is met by silence. This history is important for San Diegans of all ages to join together to better understand what must be done to stop anti-Semitism, hate, racism and injustice.”

Supervisor Fletcher has a track record of standing up against racism and hate, including:

  • reconstituted the County’s human relations commission in 2020 after someone was reported wearing face coverings adorned with a swastikas in a Santee grocery store; 

  • stood with San Diego’s Asian American community to denounce Asian hate;   

  • introduced and passed the policy to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis; and  

  • led the effort to open a County Office of Racial Justice and Equitable Communities.

To read the entire policy that was passed, click here.