Located in the heart of St. Petersburg's museum district, the Florida Holocaust Museum – the fourth largest Holocaust museum in the U.S. – is recognized as the best educational museum in Tampa Bay.
On the first floor of the museum is a permanent exhibit, History, Heritage and Hope, and includes an original boxcar from Poland once used to transport prisoners during the Holocaust. Special traveling art and historical exhibition change regularly. An expansive second floor gallery focuses on Holocaust-themed art; the museum is currently the only one of its kind in the country to house a permanent art collection relation to the Holocaust. The third floor includes the Ray and Nancy Murray Library and Tolerance Center, classrooms, and Kanes Furniture Hall, a multipurpose gallery available to all museum visitors, community organizations and companies.
The Museum was begun as the vision of St. Petersburg philanthropist and businessman Walter Loebenberg, who escaped Nazi Germany in 1939, together with a group of other business and community leaders. The Museum opened in 1992 in a small rented space on the grounds of the former Jewish Community Center of Pinellas County in Madeira Beach. Within the first month, over 24,000 visitors came to see the museum's inaugural exhibit, "Anne Frank in the World."
After six years, having outgrown its quarters, the museum moved to its present home, a renovated 27,000-square-foot building in downtown St. Petersburg.
Tens of thousands of school; children have now toured the Museum as part of state-mandated anti-hate/anti-bigotry education classes.
The museum annually sponsors commemorations for Kristallnacht and Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Annual programs include the "To Life" Award Dinner, Anne Frank Humanitarian Awards for high school students, educational training for teachers and the March of the Living.
There are a number of volunteer opportunities, including that of a docent.
Generations After, a group for descendants of Holocaust survivors and refugees, is sponsored by the Museum. The group meets on the first friday of the month at 11a.m. at the museum to socialize and make connections. The group also holds workshops, group dinner, weekend excursions and private exhibition tours.