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JAY M. IPSON (born June 5, 1935 in Kovno
Kovno
as Jacob Ipp) is a Litvak -American Holocaust
Holocaust
survivor and co-founder of the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
.

LIFE

WORLD WAR II AND IMMIGRATION

Monument of the Kovno
Kovno
Ghetto

Jacob Ipp was forced into the Kovno
Kovno
Ghetto , established by the occupying forces of Nazi-Germany , with his family at age six. One day, when he and his mother were in line to be deported for execution they were the only two people to survive out of 5,000. After escaping the Ghetto with his parents in 1943 before it was turned into a concentration camp, they had to hide for 9 months in the countryside where they spent 6 months underground, hiding in a potato hole. Ipp endured bleak post-war conditions until the family immigrated via Munich
Munich
to the United States when he was twelve.

STUDYING AND WORKING

The Ipp family arrived in the United States on June 12, 1947. His father Israel, who had been an attorney in Lithuania, found work cleaning bathrooms in a gas station. His mother Edna worked as a seamstress in Thalhimer’s department store. To make their integration into American society easier, they decided to change their family name to Ipson.

Jay M. Ipson
Jay M. Ipson
graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and attended the University of Richmond
University of Richmond
. He joined the United States Army Reserve in 1954, serving as an instructor in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant after eight years of service. A skilled aviator, Ipson ascended to the rank of full colonel in the Virginia
Virginia
Defense Force Aviation Brigade, serving as its commander from 1988 to 1992.

As owner of American Auto Parts in Hopewell, Ipson was active in the Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
and frequently spent his mornings giving talks at local schools about the Holocaust. A friend suggested that he should establish a museum to let people learn more from him. After a discussion with leaders at the United States Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Museum , and with backing from financial and legislative leaders, the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum was born.

VIRGINIA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM

Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum in Richmond

The Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum was established in May 1997 in five small rooms at the old school building next to Temple Beth-el in Richmond. Ipson was mainly supported by Al Rosenbaum and Mark Fetter . Rosenbaum created the sculpture of the menorah used in the museum’s logo.

But the number of students wanting to attend was rising very fast and so they had to look for a new location. With support of Congressman Eric Cantor
Eric Cantor
the government of Virginia
Virginia
provided an old warehouse at 2000 East Cary Street. After enormous efforts the new museum was opened in 2003. Originally rebuilt Nuremberg Courtroom

The Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum features tours, programs, lectures, films and other events, and many of the emphasized stories are about the experiences of Holocaust
Holocaust
survivors who reside or had resided in Richmond. In 2007, the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum celebrated its 10th anniversary. On Yom HaShoah
Yom HaShoah
in April 2008 Governor Tim Kaine
Tim Kaine
opened the only originally rebuilt Nuremberg Courtroom ("Palace of Justice") in the United States as new part of the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum.

Already more than 150,000 people have visited the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust Museum; about 70 percent are students. The museum is one of many organizations worldwide where young Austrians
Austrians
can serve their Austrian Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Service (Gedenkdienst).

PUBLICATIONS

* Izzy's Fire: finding humanity in the Holocaust
Holocaust
Nancy Wright Beasley (2005) * To See, to Feel, to Know: Experiencing the Holocaust
Holocaust
Through the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum, Elisabeth Anne Custalow (2005)

AWARDS

Jay M. Ipson
Jay M. Ipson
receives the Austrian Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Award from Christian Prosl (de)

* On January 16, 2001, Jay M. Ispon received a First Freedom Award from the First Freedom Center. * In 2005, he was honored with the Director's Community Leadership Award by the FBI
FBI
in Richmond. * On May 11, 2010, Jay M. Ipson
Jay M. Ipson
was the first U.S. citizen to receive the Austrian Holocaust
Holocaust
Memorial Award . Austrian Ambassador to the United States of America Dr. Christian Prosl (de) officially visited the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum to present the award.

SEE ALSO

* History of the Jews in Lithuania
History of the Jews in Lithuania
* List of Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews

REFERENCES

* ^ "Jay M. Ipson, Executive director and founder of the Virginia Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum". Richmond.com. September 10, 2007. Archived from the original on April 4, 2010. * ^ "Al Rosenbaum, co-founder of Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum, dies". Richmond Times-Dispatch. April 13, 2009. Archived from the original on August 23, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2009. * ^ " Hanukkah
Hanukkah
and the 10th anniversary of the Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust Museum, Midlothian Exchange, December 13, 2007". Midlothianexchange.com. Retrieved 2012-12-28. * ^ "Gov. Kaine Opens Exhibit about Nuremberg Trials". Richmond.com. April 21, 2008. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. * ^ "Nuremberg: Courtroom re-created in museum by Daniel Neman". Journalnow.com. May 18, 2008. Archived from the original on August 26, 2012. * ^ "izzysfire.com". izzysfire.com. Retrieved 2012-12-28. * ^ "Previous honorees of the First Freedom Award". Firstfreedom.org. Archived from the original on 2012-02-25. Retrieved 2012-12-28. * ^ Archived May 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
. * ^ Virginia
Virginia
Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum co-founder honored by Austria, Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 11,

.