Development of the Memorial
The idea for a Nashville Holocaust Memorial came from Survivor Esther Loeb. She had been to other communities and was saddened that Nashville did not publicly recognize or remember the Shoah. She approached Felicia Anchor, who was a child of Survivors. Felicia convened a committee to think of what the memorial should include and where it should be housed. The Gordon Jewish Community Center agreed to donate land. Manuel Zeitlin offered his services pro bono and created a master plan for the memorial area. Paul Lebovitz designed the landscaping and Alex Limor created the focal sculpture for the site.
Under Felicia’s leadership, the Committee undertook a $500,000 fundraising challenge. The goal was achieved. Funding came from Grants and corporate funding as well as individual donors. Two endowment funds, one for maintenance and one for education were created at the Jewish Foundation of Nashville. Donations to the Memorial are accepted and acknowledged with Tribute cards.
The Memorial was dedicated in October 2006. There was extensive community participation and coverage. Both Mayor Bill Purcell and Congressman Jim Cooper spoke at the dedication.
Since the dedication, Ronnie Wilker has managed the physical site ensuring that it is well maintained. Steve Rich oversaw the installation of a series of self-guided tours. Miriam Goldstein, a dedicated young student, has maintained the Memorial web-site. An archival overview of the individual names on the Memorial walls was completed for the Nashville Jewish archives and the Memorial web-site.
The Nashville Holocaust Memorial Committee worked with dedication and commitment to ensure that the dream of building such a tribute to honor those who were murdered in the Holocaust and those who survived became a reality. It will stand as a fitting tribute for generations to come.
Nashville Holocaust Memorial Committee:
Felicia Figlarz Anchor, Chair
Steve Edelstein, Jewish Federation of Nashville
Ed Finkelstein, Gordon Jewish Community Center
* Of Blessed Memory