Sunday, November 19, 2017
Museum of Tolerance Offers Customized Programs to Students
By Cheryl Tillman Lee (Family Editor)
Published September 17, 2009

Museum of Tolerance Offers Customized Programs to Students

The Museum of Tolerance showcasing, “Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves,” within the personal history of several noted Americans. The museum interviews and trains new volunteers several times a year and applications are accepted during the year. The museum also provides comprehensive training for new volunteers.

The five-week volunteer training program that includes an introduction to the Museum, essential skills, methodology, Holocaust education and tolerance workshops.

The formal training is followed by a flexible apprenticeship period designed to allow volunteers to become familiar and comfortable with the Museum and to various volunteer opportunities.

Finding Our Families Finding Ourselves tour is a two hour facilitated tour exploring America’s multicultural legacy through their inspirational multimedia exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance.

One can take a virtual journey to America’s shores and imagine the experiences and challenges of their ancestors, then step into the recreated childhood homes of Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Crystal, Carlos Santana and Joe Torre as they share a treasure trove of family stories, memories and dreams. Finally in the family computer lab, they learn how to discover their own family history and appreciate the diversity that makes the society great.

Family Sundays

Every day is family day at the Museum of Tolerance (MOT), but these occasions are uniquely exciting and rewarding for families. With award winning book authors, art projects, music, and the library’s mobile book cart, Family Sunday events provide imaginative and meaningful quality time for LA’s diverse families. One can sponsor one Family Sunday or a series and make admission free for all.

Recognized as a promising practice by the presidential “One America” Initiative on Race, the acclaimed Tools for Tolerance for Professionals program has trained over 45,000 law enforcement personnel and criminal justice professionals, over 35,000 educators, plus thousands of others including municipal employees, foundation board members and corporate executives, since 1996.

Each group participated in customized programs designed to address their unique professional concerns and challenges. The only museum of its kind in the world, the Museum of Tolerance is dedicated to fostering respect and promoting social justice through innovative educational exhibits designed to enable the visitors to become witnesses to the history of the Holocaust and to confront prejudice and discrimination in our society.

The Museum of Tolerance offers a variety of sponsorship opportunities for individuals, foundations and corporations. From funding an exhibit to adding your name to the donor wall, your support will allow the Museum to continue to provide generations with an interactive educational experience promoting tolerance and respect.

Steps to Tolerance are a distinctive and innovative program for fifth and sixth grade students held entirely in the Museum’s Multimedia Learning Center. The two and one-half hour program provides developmentally appropriate experiences that introduce children to museums, history and contemporary issues.

Point of View Diner

A centerpiece of the Tolerance center. This 35-seat interactive exhibit is a re-creation of a 1950’s diner that “serves” a menu of controversial topics on contemporary social issues, including hate speech, drunk driving, spousal abuse and gang violence.

Through cutting-edge technology using innovative video jukeboxes, visitors have the opportunity to individually interview the main characters in the scenarios and then register personal opinions on the issues raised.

The results are instantly tabulated, providing a springboard for discussion on violence prevention, conflict resolution and personal responsibility. A must see for the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, the scenarios in the point of view diner are updated to confront passing issues of the day.

Millennium Machine

This Multimedia experience powerfully addresses today’s global human rights crises such as the threats of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, the exploitation of women and children, and the plight of refugees and political prisoners.

Thirty-six participants in this interactive exhibit, seated in groups are tested on their knowledge of the issues via automated response technology and then challenged to discuss solutions together. The scenarios are updated to confront the crucial issues of the day, making the Millennium Machine an important highlight for every visitor.


MOT youth education programs wake up youth conscience and stimulate a lifelong commitment to values of respect and service. Through age-appropriate Museum tours and workshops, children and youths are exposed to important life skills of critical thinking and inter-personal communication, adopt a class or a whole school to provide students with access to experiential learning and resources that will engage them in creating their own peaceful futures.

Youth Leadership  Development

If you believe in the potential of young people to contribute to their neighborhoods and promote values of inclusion and responsibility, then sponsor a leadership development program that will help equip them for a lifetime of achievement. The Museum’s Tools for Tolerance for Teens full day program features a specialized Museum experience, speakers, group dialogue and skills-building workshops.

Distance Learning

Sponsor students in Hawaii, Alaska or anywhere in the U.S. to see and interact with a witness to history via the MOT’s distance learning program. “Bridging the Gap” connects students via videoconferencing with speakers who have important stories to tell. They include Survivors of the Holocaust, leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. The program includes teacher’s guide materials, artifacts shown by a special camera, and Q and A between the students and the speaker.

South Africa, Israel, Mexico, Chile, Canada, The Netherlands and France.

More than 350,000 people have visited the Museum’s traveling Friedl Dicker Brandeis exhibit in Japan alone.

The Museum has over 200 devoted volunteers serving as docents, library assistants, and book store attendees. 

Soaring above the national average for museums of their size, in their busy season the Museum provides 35 guided tours a day.

According to recent UCLA study, the Museum has the most diverse visitor and membership base compared to other area museums.

The Museum’s Tools for Tolerance for Law Enforcement is the largest training provider for Criminal Justice professionals on the West Coast.

In December 2004, the Museum won the Global Peace and Tolerance Award.

School Field Trips or Group Tours

The Museum of Tolerance welcomes group tours. Advance reservations are required for all School Field Trips or Group Tours for groups of 20 or more.

Over 110,000 students have participated in guided tours at the Museum of Tolerance each year. Volunteer guides bring their enthusiasm and skills to shape a highly interactive Museum experience. The teens, teachers and tolerance brings together students, educators, parents, community members and school resource officers in a three-day comprehensive program that includes skill building workshops, special presentations and action planning activities.

The goal is to build capacity for communities by fostering leaders, establishing community-based networks and helping to create communities of practice.

The Distance Learning Program, bridging the gap utilizes video conferencing to share the resources of the Museum of Tolerance with students who are unable to visit in person. Literature based curricula enhance the virtual museum experience. A highlight of this program is the ability for students to dialogue with a holocaust survivor.

The Museum have so many other programs that are available for instance the Tools for Tolerance for teens is a specially designed program for middle and high school students that expands on the museum experience to include workshops that challenge youth to assume greater personal responsibility.

All programs are specifically aligned with California State Education standards and are designed to be interactive, inquiry-based and multisciplinary.

Youth Education Programs

Overview of Youth Education Programs. For general information for Education programs and group visits to the museum, call (310) 772-7620.

Steps to Tolerance is a distinctive and innovative program for students. Centered in the museums Multimedia Learning Center, the two-hour program provides developmentally appropriate experiences that introduce younger students to museums, artifacts, and Holocaust history.

Tools for Tolerance for teens is a specially designed program for middle and high school students that expands the Museum experience to include workshops that challenge youth to assume greater personal and social responsibility, to recognize and reject all forms of discrimination and to deal more sensitivity with others.

O.P.T.I.O.N.S., Opportunities  to Promote Tolerance and Increase Options for nonviolence and Safety, is a multi-pronged intervention for youth referred by the Juvenile Justice System. The program offers support and positive outcomes.  


The Museum of Tolerance in partnership with the ‘Go for Broke Educational Foundation,’ presents oral histories from members of the Japanese American 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the United States Army.

A selection of video interviews with veterans of the 522nd provides personal accounts of the liberation of the sub-camps of the Dacha concentration camp complex in Germany.

In addition to video selections available online, full-length interviews are available for viewing at the Museum.

The Museum Experience promotes several overarching themes and learning objectives which support the California Reading/Language Arts and History, Social Science Frameworks and are aligned to the California Content Standards for English-Language Arts and History-Social Science, grades 7-12.

- The Power of Words and Images – Students understand the strong influence of words and images in shaping their emotions, thoughts and actions.

- Clarify and understand words and concepts needed for students to read, write and talk about issues related to diversity, equity, bias, racism and injustice. (California Content Standards for English-Language Arts, Grades 7-12, Reading Standard 1.0).

- Identify and analyze how words, figurative language, images and characterization can be used to convey particular ideas, attitudes or opinions. (California Content Standards for English-Language Arts, Grades 7-12, Reading Standard 3.0).

- Determine the adequacy of an author’s evidence for his/her conclusions and to make reasonable assertions about text through accurate, supportive citations. (California Content Standards for English-Language.

Volunteer at the Museum of Tolerance

The Museum volunteers are unique individuals who respond to the challenge of confronting personal prejudices, taking responsibility and inspiring change.

Volunteer opportunities exist for many different skills and abilities. Volunteers commit their time and talents to many different MOT departments.

Benefits of Volunteering:

Volunteering at the Museum of Tolerance (MOT) offers an important way to make a difference in your own life and the lives of others. 

– You can be a part of a lifelong learning experience.

– Develop new skills

- Meet new friends

- Share your knowledge and experience

- Be a part of a dynamic team that strives to change the world one person at a time.

They are currently welcoming Volunteer applicants for:

- Museum Guides: Over 110,000 students participate in guided tours at the Museum each year. Volunteer guides bring their enthusiasm and skills to shape a highly interactive Museum experience. You will be trained to facilitate tours in both the Toleranc center/ Holocaust exhibit and/or in the Finding Our Families, Finding Ourselves exhibit.

- Gallery Assistants: You are Host/Hostess for the Museum, greeting and guiding public visitors through the exhibits, and helping out at different positions in the Museum.           

– Library & Archives: You will be trained to assist with daily library operations, answering phones, assisting with cataloging and research, and with the preparation of digital archival material.

The exhibition ultimately celebrates the shared experiences common to being part of an American family and encourages visitors to seek out their own histories, mentors and heroes.

A comprehensive resource on the Holocaust and World War II, with over 3,000 text files, and tens of thousands of photos. Featuring: glossary, timeline, bibliographies, 36 questions and answers about the Holocaust, and curricular resources for teachers.

Online versions of past exhibitions from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance. Topics featuring 13,785 documents in English, German and Hebrew from the Institute of Documentation in Israel.

- Use precise and appropriate language. Define terms used and discuss their meaning in the context of your lessons.

- Help students personalize history by connecting faces and stories to the statistics. Look at particular examples of individual Holocaust victims, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in literature, historical texts. Explore resistance to the Nazis and the emergence of heroes.

- Select your resources carefully and guide your students to think critically about the sources they find. Utilize both primary and secondary source materials.

Students might have different emotional reactions to the content they encounter. It is important to create an environment where students feel comfortable expressing their ideas, thoughts and emotions.

When facilitating dialogue around the themes of the Museum, keep in mind the museum challenges students to connect the learning experience with their everyday lives.

Teens, teachers and Tolerance brings together students, educators, parents, community members and school resource officers in a three-day comprehensive program that includes skill building workshops, special presentations and action-planning activities.

With the generous support of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, funding has been secured to expand their programming to a national audience.

Law Enforcement

Classes at the Museum of Tolerance;

Classes at the New York Tolerance Center;         

Criminal Justice;

National Institutes Against Hate Crimes and Terrorism;

Building Community Trust in a Diverse Post-9/11 Environment;  Education

Tools for Tolerance for Educators;

Tools for Tolerance for Teens     Public Sector;

Tools for Tolerance for Front-Line Service Providers, and Corporate.

The goal, is to promote leadership, establish community-based networks and help to create communities of practice. 

For more information, call  (310) 772-7620.


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