Bill Clinton to speak at Holocaust museum opening

NEW YORK (JTA) — Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

The former president will be joined at Sunday’s ceremonies in Skokie by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, foreign dignitaries and Holocaust survivors. In 1993, Clinton as president spoke at the dedication ceremony for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

"President Clinton’s participation in the dedication of this world-class institution truly sets the tone for what we want the museum to be," said Richard Hirschhaut, the museum’s executive director. "Not only does President Clinton’s attendance underscore the urgency of our mission, but also the important role we must all play in combating intolerance and genocide throughout the world today."

The program will feature a video presentation, a candlelighting by survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides, and musical performances by the Israeli hip-hop violinist Miri Ben-Ari and others.

Beyond the atrocities of Nazi Germany, the $45 million, 65,000-square-foot facility will explore issues of genocide and human rights around the world and throughout history through its public programs, traveling exhibits and “Voices of Conscience” lecture series.

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