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Elizabeth Gelman, Holocaust Museum part ways

Bill DeYoung



Elizabeth Gelman

Elizabeth Gelman, the Florida Holocaust Museum’s executive director since 2013, is no longer with the nonprofit organization.

Gelman declined to give a reason for her departure.

“There are certain moments when a change in leadership is easier than others, and I think that this is the moment for that,” she said Thursday. “I’m super-proud of everything that has been accomplished while I was at the museum, and I love the people that I’ve been able to work with – incredible staff, and volunteers, and the Holocaust survivors that I’ve had the opportunity to get to know.

“I have to say, working with these survivors has been transformational for me.”

Deputy director Erin Blankenship will serve as interim director. “She is an incredibly talented and savvy museum leader,” said Gelman.

Gelman, with an extensive background in the arts and museum management in the Chicago area, served as Manager of Education at the Spertus Museum, Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

Even so, she said, “I’m certainly not a Holocaust scholar. Luckily, we have tremendous Holocaust scholars at the museum.”

Calls to museum board members for comment were not immediately returned.

“It’s not something that I can really talk about,” Gelman said. “But I have been tremendously overwhelmed by the response to my departure. Really overwhelmed, and incredibly grateful to this amazing community.”

She intends to “explore new opportunities,” she said. “I’m going to take a few weeks to travel, and take some time to figure out what it is I really want to do for my next act. A very wise person once said to me, ‘It is hard to look forward when you are looking back.'”

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    July 31, 2021at9:51 pm

    I always enjoyed listening to Ms. Gelman speak at public events.

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    Rose Hayes

    July 30, 2021at12:03 pm

    Life changes, we must expect and accept. I love the Museum and will continue to support it.

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    July 29, 2021at3:15 pm

    Ms Gelman’s grace and leadership will be missed by the community if not by the museum. Best wishes as you look forward. No doubt another organization will have the good benefit of your skills, enthusiasm and intelligence.

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