Holocaust History to Be Preserved Through Reflection and Resource Room at NSU’s Alvin Sherman Library

Craig and Barbara Weiner with Kenny Tate, Lydia Acosta, Dr. Jacqueline Travisano and Dr. Jennifer O'Flannery Anderson

As decades pass since the Holocaust, it is critical that we, as humanity, maintain the historical record of the largest genocide in world history and to honor those who perished, while preserving the memories of those who lived through it. “We must strive to provide opportunities for our current generation and those of tomorrow to reflect on the horrific events of the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from it,” said Craig Weiner, president of the Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc.
 
For Craig and Barbara Weiner, their dream of creating a space in South Florida dedicated to these goals led them to the NSU Alvin Sherman Library. Craig and Barbara have lived in Weston since the early 1990s. Craig founded his real estate management and development company, Craig R. Weiner Associates, Inc., in Hollywood, Florida, and subsequently moved their offices to Weston. Their relationship with NSU began in the late 1980s when Barbara earned her B.S. in Elementary Education at NSU, and their children attended NSU University School. Their son later graduated from the NSU College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Weiners have been generous donors to NSU ever since, and Craig is also a member of NSU’s Ambassadors Board.
 
Barbara and Craig co-founded the nonprofit Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc. (HLEF) in 2013 to encourage the expansion of Holocaust education in the United States. The organization’s website states that “students must be encouraged to have the bravery and the courage to follow their moral conscience in STANDING UP when they witness injustice and see things happening that they absolutely know are wrong, including, but not limited to, bullying […] which is often a result of racism, anti-Semitism, or bigotry. […] We strive to show our nation’s youth what history has proven happens from these ‘cancers’ that continue to permeate our society, and in this regard we teach young people how critically important it is for them to learn the lessons of the Holocaust, and to understand how relevant these lessons are in making their daily life choices.”
 
Beginning in 2014, HLEF partnered with NSU to host the annual Holocaust Reflection Contest, a statewide initiative enhancing Holocaust education for middle and high school students. Participating students study the testimonials of Holocaust survivors; reflect on what they’ve learned; then submit original writing, art, and film projects expressing how those lessons apply to their own lives. HLEF awarded the contest’s 2014 and 2015 winning students, their teachers, and one parent per student an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and meet with national and international dignitaries.

At the library’s annual Circle of Friends Gala on May 14, NSU was pleased to announce that the couple has contributed a significant gift to the university to establish the Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room on the library’s second floor. Set to open in the coming academic year, the room will offer NSU students and the general public a place to learn about, and to contemplate the atrocities that result from intolerance and hate.

“Barbara and I could not be happier, nor more honored than to be a partner with this outstanding university,” said Craig. “NSU has shown unhesitating and unrivaled leadership in extending itself for the betterment of our community. NSU is a true leader in education. The growth at this university in so many ways is simply incredible, and the Alvin Sherman Library will be a major focal point of the university and will be here for the very long term. With that in mind, we could not have found a better partner to create this amazing project with. The Holocaust Reflection and Resource Room will be a wonderful resource for our students and the community to enjoy and learn from for many, many years.”