Holocaust Museum Houston Marks its Silver Jubilee with a Virtual Event and VIP Watch Party

Twenty-five years of hope were recently celebrated by Holocaust Museum Houston and its supporters

Jubilee Chairs Rhona and Bruce Caress

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Jubilee Chairs Kisha and Jason Itkin

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Camille Andrews, Paula Goldstein

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Jubilee Chairs Rhona and Bruce Caress

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Photography: Priscilla Dickson

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The Celebration

On Thursday, May 13, 2021, Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) celebrated its Silver Jubilee with a virtual event. Silver Jubilee chairs for the evening were Rhona and Bruce Caress, Kisha and Jason Itkin, and Nicole and Evan H. Katz. Ellen and Dan Trachtenberg served as host committee chairs. Honorary chairs included Joan and Stanford Alexander; Judy and David Bell; Laurie and Milton Boniuk; Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein; Sandra and Steve Finkelman; Shirley Rotbein Flaum; Frank  Goldberg; Shelly and Brian Hendry; Rosellen Brown Hoffman and Marvin Hoffman; Velva G. and H. Fred  Levine; Edith and Josef Mincberg, z”l; Marci and Ronnie Morgan; The Morgan Family; Macey and Harry  Reasoner; Glen Rosenbaum; Sue Smith; Stuart and Limor Smith; Laurie Morgan Silver; Sandra  Weiner; Sharon and Mark Wise; and Lorraine & Ed., z”l Wulfe.

The Story

Select guests gathered for a watch party at the Hilton Americas-Houston, while many others enjoyed the festivities virtually from home. The virtual event, entitled Twenty-five Years of Hope, depicted the museum’s history and highlighted the facility’s accomplishments from its conception in 1981, to its opening in 1996, and to its expansion in 2019.

“We are so proud of everything the Museum has accomplished over the last 25 years,” said Dr. Kelly J.  Zúñiga, CEO of HMH. “Looking back at our incredible past has energized us and inspired us to reach new goals for the future of Holocaust and human rights education.”  

The Moments

Ben Platt, Tony Award-winning star of Dear Evan Hansen, wowed guests with a spectacular virtual performance. Watch party attendees participated in a question-and-answer session with him following the performance.

The rousing event raised $1.1 million benefiting HMH’s online and onsite programs, which reach thousands across the Houston community and beyond. The museum is working to broaden its reach and provide for future growth of its Holocaust and human-rights educational programs for students,  teachers, and the public. 

Sponsors: PaperCity served as the media sponsor and United Airlines served as the official airline of HMH. Sponsorship of the private VIP reception and watch party was provided by Paula Goldstein. The celebrity entertainment was sponsored by Northern Trust. 

For more information, please visit hmh.org/jubilee

About Holocaust Museum Houston

Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH), Lester and Sue Smith Campus, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. It was founded in 1996 by Houston-area Holocaust survivors, their descendants, and members of the community and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The museum is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims who lost their lives during this terrible period in history, and honoring the survivors’ legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, HMH teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice, and apathy.

After two years and a $34 million expansion, HMH reopened in June 2019. Now 57,000 square feet, HMH is the nation's fourth largest Holocaust museum. Fully bilingual in English and Spanish, the new three-story structure houses a welcome center, four permanent galleries, two changing exhibition galleries, classrooms, research library, café, 187-seat indoor theater, and 175-seat outdoor amphitheater. Over 50 screens, mini-theaters, and interactive terminals are featured throughout the museum. 

As part of the year-long celebration of the Museum’s milestone anniversary, each month HMH will highlight 25 features from its history including facts, films, exhibitions, and more. Learn more at hmh.org/25th