Birmingham Holocaust Center Moves to Emanu-El

The Birmingham Holocaust Education Center announced it will be temporarily relocating to Temple Emanu-El, as of Dec. 17.

The Bayer Properties building just up the street has been home to the BHEC, rent free, for the past 15 years. “The BHEC has been so appreciative of the strong support received these past few months, as we have been searching for new space,” said Fran Godchaux, BHEC relocation committee chair and vice president of governance.

Bayer Properties is moving into a new headquarters at the historic Magnolia Building, and the current property is being proposed for a mixed-use development that would include a boutique hotel.

The BHEC move to Temple Emanu-El is temporary, as a long-term strategy is underway to identify a permanent place to house the agency’s exhibits, library, and ever-expanding Holocaust and World War II archives, as well as a place to develop new exhibits and programs to encourage more people to keep the history and the lessons of the Holocaust alive.

At Temple Emanu-El, BHEC offices will be located on the second floor, and the Community Room will be on the third floor. BHEC archives and rare books will be housed at the Levite Jewish Community Center.

BHEC’s new executive director, Rev. Melissa Self Patrick, began her tenure on Nov. 4. “We are looking forward to working with Temple Emanu-El, the LJCC, and to continuing our programs with all our outstanding partners across greater Birmingham and the state of Alabama,” she said.

Emanu-El Rabbi Adam Wright said the BHEC’s mission of teaching about the history of the Holocaust “so that future generations will endeavor to create a more just, humane and tolerant future” is “also part of our work at Temple Emanu-El.”

He said the move “is incredibly exciting for both organizations.”

Organized in 2002, the BHEC provides programming throughout the state of Alabama for teachers, students, civic groups, organizations and communities. Their website and social media will update business hours, along with upcoming programming.