On the east side of Cleveland, in the suburb of Beachwood, OH, you can find a very unique local attraction, The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage. Cleveland has had a very vibrant Jewish community that has had a large impact on the global community, and this museum that was opened in 2005, was designed with one mission, to build bridges of tolerance and understanding by sharing Jewish heritage through the lens of the American experience.
Because while it is true that some of the Jewish American experience is unique to the Jewish community, much of the history is common from religion to religion, race to race, ethnic group to ethnic group. The stories of individuals and families, both past and present, come to life through state of the art exhibitions, interactives, and films, oral histories, photographs and artifacts.
While anyone who is of Jewish descent will identify with the exhibits in The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, what Jews experienced and continue to experience today is really a mirror of the experience of many immigrants to American soil. You can follow the immigrants through the generations of leaving their original homes behind, moving to a new country, and dealing with the changes in world history through the local eyes of Cleveland immigrants. While the focus is on Jewish heritage, the experience is a much wider view of the world as a whole.
In addition to the history of Jewish immigrants to Cleveland, there are other exhibits that revolve around the promotion of diversity and tolerance in the world today. One of the most exciting projects that have come from the Maltz Museum is the Stop the Hate contest which is a $100,000 essay contest for middle school and high school students. The inspiration for the Stop the Hate contest comes from the reflections of leaders throughout history on the results of hatred and intolerance. Their words serve as inspiration for thinking about what you can do to stop hatred and discrimination.
In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
For more information on tours and hours, call 216-593-0575.