I have been affiliated with the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County (HMTC) since it opened in 1992. Under HMTC’s first two chairmen, I was the center’s treasurer. For the past seven years, I have been the vice chairman under our third chairman, Steven Markowitz. I have known Steve since he became an HMTC board member 15 years ago.
I was shocked and saddened to learn of the recent attacks, the hate mail, and the anti-Steven comments, and the request that Steve be removed from the chairmanship of HMTC.
This is not the Steve that I know. This to me is politics at its worst.
Steve has donated his time and devotion to HMTC to bring the center to new heights. Steve stands behind the center’s mission statement: “To teach the history of the Holocaust. We teach about the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism, bullying and all other manifestations of intolerance. We advocate respect for every human being.” This is the Steve that I know.
Under Steve’s leadership, HMTC has become highly respected and is constantly requested for our programs. Currently, HMTC is working hard in the Great Neck schools dealing with anti-Semitism and intolerance between all races.
Under Steve’s leadership of our small but devoted staff, we run our programs for the police department, nurses, attorneys, teachers, students and more. We have had many different speakers come to the center to tell their story. We’ve had the Yazidi refugees tell about the current genocide against them. And, we had the South Korean “Comfort Women” tell about the atrocities by the Japanese during WWII.
I invite the anti-Steve people to come to the center and sit in on a bullying program because we all need to get along by discussion. Sit down with Steve. Learn who he is and what he stands for.
I know Steven Markowitz, and I’m proud to be his vice chairman and honored to be his friend.