Whether you're going on vacation to get away from it all, or feeding an intellectual need to explore history, museums are oftentimes tickboxes on your itinerary.
Either way, these explorable destinations can come in many forms, whether it be an ancient cathedral, a cultural center, or a landmark dedicated to the world's battered past.
One such example is located in Los Angeles. It is called the Museum of Tolerance (MOT) and it has been a popular destination since its opening in 1993. This historical museum is a branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization.
What sets MOT apart from a standard gallery is its immersive experience and focus on identifying hatred and bigotry. At the heart of it all lies the Holocaust. MOT's inspiration was due in part to educating younger generations about the horror of genocide, specifically the Nazi takeover and their murdering of over six million Jews.
Exhibits featured at MOT regarding this point in history are, Anne; an immersive presentation that documents the life of Anne Frank, a young Jewish diarist who hid from the Nazis behind a bookcase for two years, and The Holocaust, a 70-minute tour that lets you live among the people, places, and artifacts of the 1920s leading up to 1945.
But MOT isn't all about the world's violent past. It is also about the future. In the Tolernacenter, visitors come face to face with their own prejudices and how to identify them. Before you say you are without bias, keep in mind that there is no such thing; everyone is a little prejudiced. To drive this point home, MOT gives visitors a choice between two doors: one marked "prejudice" and the other marked "unprejudiced." Only one opens.
Acclaimed the world over, the Museum of Tolerance sees many visitors come through its doors. From children to business owners to religious leaders, MOT is one of the must-see places in Southern California, if not the world.
Unfortunately due to COVID, the museum was closed for a while but as of August 12, 2021, has resumed operation.
"We have welcomed back hundreds of visitors since reopening our doors earlier this month," reads the museum website. "The MOT is continuing its full array of programs, virtually, including Holocaust survivor testimonies (every Wednesday at 1 pm) as well as films screenings and more. Additionally, MOT staff have been busy with professional development programs for law enforcement, youth, and educators."
With modern technology bringing a whole new way to express prejudice and hate, visiting MOT might allow people to sharpen their awareness and realize that although everyone has personal judgments against people, they can either overcome them with education and compassion or at the very least, live with them peacefully.
The Museum of Tolerance is only open on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 3 pm. And on Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm.
Visit the website HERE for ticket information and exhibit details.