Florida Legislators Propose Up to $25 Million in Funding to Help Build a Transformative New Holocaust Museum in Orlando
Private sector funding, led by philanthropist Alan Ginsburg, will provide a $25 million match if funding package is approved for construction of state’s largest Holocaust museum
Tallahassee, Fla. (January 8, 2024) — Two Florida legislators have proposed up to $25 million in funding to help build the transformative, new “Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity” in Orlando, the country’s largest tourist destination with more than 74 million visitors annually. The Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity will be the largest Holocaust museum in the state of Florida.
The bi-partisan funding effort is led by State Senator Linda Stewart (D-17) who has requested $25 million in the Florida Senate and State Representative David Smith (R-38) who has requested $5 million from the Florida House of Representatives. The Senate funding amount was motivated by a private sector match commitment from supporters of the Museum. If approved by the Legislature and Governor, the state funding will be matched with $25 million in private sector funds led by Orlando area philanthropist Alan Ginsburg to pay for capital construction costs. Ginsburg, a longtime supporter of civic, healthcare, and Jewish causes, has previously pledged $10 million in financial support to the new museum.
This request is for a one-time state investment in the construction of the museum, and not an ongoing commitment to fund programming.
It is anticipated that the museum will break ground later this year with a grand opening in 2026. The museum has raised $31million of its anticipated $106 million budget. If approved by the Florida Legislature and fully matched, the museum would have an additional $40 million in committed funding by the second quarter of 2024.
“We are facing unprecedented times. The meteoric rise in antisemitism and other forms of hate shows why this new, state of the art museum in Orlando is needed more than ever,” said Stewart. “I am grateful to Alan for his generosity in suggesting the match and for his lifelong dedication to the Central Florida community.”
The 44,500 square foot museum will be built at an architecturally significant, centrally located site provided by the City of Orlando in downtown Orlando. It is being designed around a non-traditional approach to learning as it meets younger generations where they are; using technology, social media, eye-witness accounts, and other methods to bring the history of the Holocaust to life.
“Now is the time and this is the place.” said Smith. “I am proud to support this unique, much-needed Holocaust museum in one of the world’s top tourism destinations. It is my hope that families from across the country and around the world will include the museum in their plans when visiting Orlando.”
“Acts of hate in Florida and across the country are on the rise. Our new museum will help the next generation find relevance in Holocaust education so that they can take action against antisemitism,” said Talli Dippold, Executive Director of The Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida, the organization developing the new museum. “As a descendant of Holocaust survivors, it is extremely meaningful to have these stories preserved and told here in Orlando. All of us are extremely grateful to Senator Stewart and Representative Smith for their heroic leadership in seeking this important one-time construction funding.”
The museum, which will draw not only visitors from the United States but the tens of millions coming to Orlando from overseas, has also received a $10 million grant from the Orange County’s Tourist Development Tax funds.
“This museum proposal is an example of a true public private partnership and I applaud Senator Stewart and Representative Smith for their requests for state and federal funding to support this effort,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “Orange County prides itself on its unique cultural attractions, and the Holocaust Museum for Hope and Humanity is especially meaningful for our community and the millions who visit Central Florida.”
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