Fighting hate and antisemitsm, Holocaust museum travels to UNF next week

Mallory Pace, News Editor

The Chabad Center at the University of North Florida is partnering with UNF’s Interfaith Center to present the Hate Ends Now Tour, a traveling Holocaust museum aimed at bringing awareness and recognition to the history of the Holocaust and empowering students to stand up against intolerance. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Hate Ends Now Tour is bringing an exact replica of a cattle car used to transport Jews to concentration camps during the Holocaust. While inside the cattle car, participants will experience a 360 immersive and 3D multimedia journey to understand better what this devastating event felt like.

Rabbi Shmuel Novack, co-director of Chabad at UNF, explained that bringing a replica of a cattle car would help students understand more about that experience. 

The timing of bringing this event to UNF comes from fighting back against antisemitic messages and attacks that the greater Jacksonville area has recently experienced. Rabbi Novack hopes this event will teach students to treat every person they encounter with kindness and humanity.

The tours will run every thirty minutes starting at 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. While walk-ins are welcomed, reserving your spot in a specific tour time is encouraged. You can find the link to reserve your spot here.  

Then at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, a holocaust survivor will address UNF students in a speech. More information will be released soon.


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Rabbi Shmuel Novack and his wife co-direct Chabad at UNF. He explained the uniqueness of bringing in a replica of the cattle car will demonstrate how Jews were dehumanized and treated during that time, culminating it all into a personal experience.  

“I think what we need to take from this is the importance to humanize,” Rabbi Novack said. “To look at the humanity, the decency, and the godliness in everybody we come across.”  

The greater Jacksonville community has seen several discriminatory attacks in recent months. Antisemitic messages were displayed on the back of the video board at the TIAA Bank Field during a football game, supporting the antisemitic comments made by rapper Kanye West on social media. 

“Unfortunately, we’ve been talking about antisemitism a lot lately,” Rabbi Novack said. “And that’s never a great conversation to have, but yet it’s a conversation that has to be had.” 

Boaz Levy is a UNF senior studying political science and is a teacher at the Jacksonville Jewish Center’s religious school, the Bernard and Alice Selevan Religious School. He stressed that antisemitism is active and that means members of the community need to come together and take a stand.  

“The fact that it is in this community is dangerous, but it also is an opportunity for students here and other people in the community to say, Jacksonville isn’t going to be a place where we welcome that,” Levy said. “It’s going to be a place where instead people from all different backgrounds are going to unify and fight it head-on.”

The opportunity to meet a Holocaust survivor is an increasingly rare chance as the number of survivors continues to decline with time—Rabbi Novack described it as a “once-in-a-lifetime chance.”

“What’s more disturbing is we’re living in an era where people are denying the Holocaust while we have survivors still alive to tell their stories,” Rabbi Novack said. 

Levy said that he hopes this event teaches students what the Holocaust was like but will also give them the motivation to want to learn more. 

“I think this will give UNF students in particular… a better understanding of what these people looked like, what these people may have felt and what those conditions may have been like,” Levy explained. “I think it will give people a much better gateway to Holocaust education.”  

The Hate Ends Now Tour will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 17 and will be located outside the Student Union. The Holocaust survivor guest speaker speech will begin at 7 p.m. with more details expected to be released soon.


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