Holocaust Museum establishes Gloria and Rubin Feldman Family Education Institute

Above, from left: HMLC Chairman Kent Hirschfelder, HMLC Education Director and Curator Dan Reich, Gloria Feldman, HMLC Director Jean Cavender and HMLC Museum Coordinator Andrew Goldfeder.  

The Holocaust Museum and Learning Center has established the Gloria and Rubin Feldman Family Education Institute, which will allow the museum to build on its programming and expand its educational objectives.

Gloria and Rubin (z”l) Feldman have a long history of philanthropy in the St. Louis Jewish community, and the institute fulfills one of their lifelong dreams to enhance Holocaust education in the St. Louis region. Gloria and Rubin’s parents taught them the importance of giving back to the community and the value of education. Rubin, who died in 2002, and Gloria experienced the darkness of the Holocaust and witnessed the cataclysmic effects of hatred and discrimination.

Kent Hirschfelder, chairman of the HMLC, says that when Gloria first approached him about establishing the education institute, “the first word that came to me was ‘transformational.’ ” Hirschfelder says this initiative will significantly expand the museum’s mission to teach the history of the Shoah and its lessons, such as confronting hatred, promoting human dignity, and the dangers of indifference and of being a bystander. It was through the generosity of Rubin and Gloria Feldman that the museum was able to create “Change Begins With Me,” an interactive exhibit focusing on hatred, discrimination and ethnic conflict in the world today.

Hirschfelder says an initial step in exploring the potential of the institute will be the formation of an advisory committee of educators, community leaders and others to explore, develop and expand programming opportunities.

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Gloria Feldman said she and her late husband wanted to give something to the community that would “make a difference.” The institute is already supporting a statewide Holocaust education workshop intended to attract teachers from underserved regions, scheduled for this summer. 

The education institute was created by Gloria Feldman on behalf of her family, which includes the Feldmans’ son Steven Feldman, daughter Cheryle Atkin, four grandsons and one granddaughter.

Gloria Feldman says she doesn’t not know how she survived the Holocaust but that having survived, she is committed to doing  whatever she can to create a better world. She says she gives on behalf of “the millions of souls that were senselessly murdered. Perhaps this is why I survived.”