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NOV 14, 2007

L.A. Holocaust Museum Receives $3 Million Donation After Executing Lease with City of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA - The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust received its largest donation to date yesterday, a $3 million donation from the Schoenberg Family Charitable Gift Fund of Schwab Charitable Fund through the generosity of E. Randol and Pamela Schoenberg. The donation became possible after the City of Los Angeles and the city’s oldest Holocaust Museum signed a lease agreement allowing the Museum to build a state of the art facility and to operate it for 50 years.

The lease signing represents the completion of a movement which began nearly four years ago, when the Museum took its first steps towards gaining the right to build a world-class Museum on a small patch of under-utilized space on the park’s western edge, below the U.S. Post Office.  Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo made the issue a priority for his staff, and the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips provided pro bono legal assistance to the Museum allowing the Museum’s dream to become a reality.

Using only private funding, the LAMH plans to build a more-than 15,000 square foot building occupying less than 1% of the entire park. Renowned architect Hagy Belzberg’s designs will create a revolutionary Museum that will increase green space in the park and integrate a dual message of tragedy and hope about the events of the Holocaust.

Mr. Schoenberg, Chairman of the Museum, said “I am deeply committed to the Museum’s future, and I’m glad the city demonstrated its commitment as well,” Mr. Schoenberg said.  “Our goal is to build a museum that will allow us to continue to educate people, especially children, about the Holocaust.  Hatred and prejudice leads to genocide.  These lessons are relevant to our time and to our future.”

“Mr. Schoenberg is a visionary who’s made it his personal mission to build a new Museum of the Holocaust. We couldn’t have come this far without him,” said Museum Executive Director Mark Rothman. “At the same time, support from Rocky and his staff, and sage counsel from our Manatt attorneys, helped us cut through red tape that had stalled this project.” Land use and government relations attorneys Daniel Gryczman and Lisa Weinberger advised the Museum,  diligently negotiating with Los Angeles City Attorney David Michaelson.

Mr. Schoenberg’s gift is the largest the Museum received to date, but not the only significant one. Developer and founding Museum Board member Jona Goldrich has promised $2 million and, over the past two years, provided seed funding of $100,000 per year. Supporter John Martz has promised $3 million, and Board members Jon and Beth Kean have pledged $350,000. These funds collectively represent three-quarters of the nearly $12 million the Museum will need to complete construction. The Museum’s $20 million capital campaign expects to raise an additional $8 million for an operating endowment.

“We hope to break ground next year, as soon as the other donations are received and we have all the funds in place,” Mr. Rothman said. “We never stop looking for other people, committed to Holocaust education and memorialization, who will help us fulfill our dream.”