Mission and History
On July 1, 2014 the Oregon Jewish Museum (OJM) and the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center (OHRC) merged to become the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE).
The mission of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is to interpret the Oregon Jewish experience, explore the lessons of the Holocaust and foster intercultural conversations.
For nearly four years OJM and OHRC worked physically alongside each other. This physical proximity first stimulated conversation between Judith Margles, OJM’s Director and Sonia Marie Leikam, OHRC’s Director, who began talking together about their organization’s respective missions and roles in the community and how they might deepen the collaborative aspects of their work. These conversations were coupled with a growing sense of responsibility that OJM itself needed to include a curriculum about the Holocaust in its education programs.
The conversation moved quickly to the Board level and a merger transition committee was constituted to see if merging the two organizations made sense. After full commitment by both organizations in December 2013, the remaining legal and logistical details were worked out over the next six months.
The merger of OJM with OHRC offers us renewed purpose, the opportunity to cover topics relating to Jewish art, culture, and heritage through our programs, exhibits, films, lectures, and concerts. We are proud stewards of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. Education programs embrace the Jewish experience and promote the responsible teaching of the Holocaust. We also have an opportunity to stimulate dialogue and action that teaches new generations the need to uphold democratic values, prevent genocide and foster human dignity.