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William and Sheila Konar Foundation Join Museum's Chairman Circle

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WASHINGTON, DC – The William & Sheila Konar Foundation of Rochester, NY, recently joined the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Chairman’s Circle, with a $6.2 million gift to support the Museum’s Initiative on Holocaust Denial and State-Sponsored Antisemitism. This gift will also create an endowment to name the director.

The purpose of the initiative is to bring relevant Holocaust education to audiences in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Iran, where antisemitism and Holocaust denial have alarmingly been on the rise. By partnering with local individuals and organizations, the Museum will enhance its impact in these regions to educate about the dangers of antisemitism, extremism, and ignoring or distorting Holocaust history.

“The Konar Family has been actively involved with the Museum since it was merely an idea.  Almost 30 years ago, they helped build the Museum. Today, the next generation of the Konar Family is helping us expand its global impact, which is especially urgent in these challenging times,” said Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield.

“Unique among other institutions in the world, the Museum has the stature and ability to promote Holocaust education and confront Holocaust denial in places where other organizations simply cannot go—including Eastern Europe and the Middle East,” said Howard Konar, Foundation Trustee.

William and Sheila Konar were instrumental in founding the Museum, and among its earliest and most generous supporters. William Konar, a Holocaust survivor, was born in Radom, Poland, in 1930 and passed away in 2015.

During World War II, William was separated from his family and survived in hiding, forced labor, and a concentration camp. After liberation, he immigrated to Rochester, New York, as an orphaned teenager and later founded one of the first US chains of discount drug stores. He was appointed to the Museum’s governing Council and served on the national campaign board that built the Museum. His son Howard later served on the Council and is currently chair of the Museum’s Education Committee.

About the William & Sheila Konar Foundation

The William & Sheila Konar Foundation supports charitable organizations with interests in education, cultural and civic organizations, health and human services, and Jewish life and programs.

About the Campaign

This gift supports the Museum’s $1 billion campaign, Never Again: What You Do Matters. The Museum is making critical investments to keep Holocaust memory alive as a relevant, transformative force in the 21st century. 

About the Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors.

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