Budget conference: House agrees to full Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial funding

Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial
The chambers concurred on a $1.5M earmark.

House budgeters agreed to double the state dollars they originally planned to spend this year on the Holocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, apportioning $1.5 million to the 34-year-old Miami Beach landmark.

That’s the full sum Republican Sen. Ileana Garcia and GOP Rep. Vicki Lopez sought in matching appropriation requests.

But until its PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee met on the matter, the House had only earmarked $750,000 in its budget (HB 5001).

The Senate budget (SB 2500), which lawmakers laid on the table earlier this month, included it all.

According to Garcia’s request form, the funding will help pay for student, teacher and public engagement in Holocaust education events, including the community-wide Kristallnacht and Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations.

Other such services include interactive virtual tours of the memorial, expansion and maintenance of an online platform for students and visitors, and professional development seminars for teachers and Holocaust Education Week programming.

The request also notes that the memorial hosts rallies in support of Israel and against antisemitism, typically during Middle East conflicts.

“Part of our request is to expand the reach of the Memorial from 100,000 visitors (pre-covid) to 150,000 visitors as our new Education Center is built and we have more education experiences to offer,” wrote Sharon Horowitz of the Holocaust Memorial Committee and Nicole Freeman of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.

The $1.5 million earmark is in addition to $66,500 in recurring funds and $750,000 in contributions from other sources.

It includes:

— $475,000 for equipment rentals, marketing campaigns, travel budgets, sound system rentals, supplies, film editing, digital agreements and support, office supplies and technology upgrades to the memorial’s virtual tour, and other software and hardware needs.

— $375,000 for transportation and security costs for students and survivors “to ensure that with the rise in violent antisemitic attacks, student groups who tour the Memorial are safe and secure as well as our staff.”

— $300,000 for salaries and benefits costs associated with building a new education center, including hiring a new director of marketing.

— $95,000 for the salary and benefits of the education coordinator.

— $80,000 for travel, office supplies, books and other educational materials to be distributed to schools.

— $25,000 for other salary and benefits costs.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


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