Holocaust Museum to separate from Federation after unanimous decision

St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum to become independent 501c3 in the coming months 

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Artist’s rendering of the new St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum.

Today, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis announced a unanimous decision from its Board of Directors to begin the separation of the Federation and the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum. The Museum, currently a department of the Federation, will undergo the process of becoming an independent institution.   

“Our strategic plan advises us that, if we are not the best at doing something, we should stand aside and allow for the best institution to take the lead,” said Greg Yawitz, Federation Board Chair. “We look forward to seeing the Museum grow and take shape as an independent institution in the coming months and years. The Federation is proud to gift this gem to the region, where it will thrive for generations to come.”  

Over the next several months, the Federation Board will engage in the process of drafting bylaws and policies, applying for 501c3 status, and selecting an initial Board of Directors for the Museum. Upon the Museum’s official separation, services such as facilities management and security will continue to be shared between the two institutions. 

“The future is bright for both the Museum and the Federation,” said Helen Turner, the Museum’s Director of Education. “Following our grand opening in November we look forward to engaging with thousands of students each year and supporting Missouri educators in their efforts to teach the important history of the Holocaust. We are grateful for the Federation’s support and partnership over the past 25+ years, and we look forward to continuing to work closely in the future.”  

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Dr. Frances Levine, recently retired President of Missouri Historical Society, served on the task force that considered the questions of shared services and the creation of the Museum as a separate entity.  

“I believe that this step is an important part of raising the stature of the Museum,” said Dr. Levine. “The St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum has done meaningful historical and educational work in preserving the memory of Holocaust survivors and in examining the intolerance that can lead to horrific consequences. The expansion of the Museum will permit it to gain new heights at a time when the world has seen a rise in violence against Jewish people and other ethnic groups.” 

The Museum is currently undergoing a $21 million renovation and expansion. It will reopen to the public on November 2, 2022. Find out more at www.STLHolocaustMuseum.org.