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Around Town

Source: Culver City Observer
By Mary McGrath

Museum of Tolerance
Great Follow-Up to the Movie "Crash"

Now that "Crash" has won for best picture at the Academy Awards, let's look at a local landmark that addresses many of the poignant themes prevalent in this riveting movie. If you haven't been to the Museum of Tolerance, adjacent to Beverly Hills, it's well worth the investment. You will be shocked and inspired by what you see. I was invited to attend by Abby Abanes, through her affiliation with www.MEETin.org, an international social group of 50,000 members, which fosters friendship and common interests. I had joined this group a few years ago, when Iwas looking for tennis partners, and I always found the site and participants very friendly and engaging. Knowing this, I knew the trip to the museum would put me in touch with like-minded people interested in history and tolerance.

I hadn't been in about 8 years, so I wasn't sure how much the museum had changed, or what my reactions would be. By visiting the museum again, I'm reminded of the varying cultures that co-exist in Los Angeles and how grateful I am to be living in our integrated complex in Fox Hills. I like it because there is no minority. Many denominations are present, creating a stew of lifestyles that inspires openmindedness fosters tolerance. We call our complex The League of Nations. I wish more communities were orchestrated in this fashion.

If you can, take a tour with one of the docents, paired with state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, addressing the dynamics of prejudice and discrimination that have prevailed throughout history. Contemporary examples in America and throughout the world are addressed, unveiling the thread of prejudice that is inherent in many of us. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth the experience.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance
(310) 553-8403
(310) 553-4521
9786 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

Mary McGrath is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in many national magazines, books and newspapers. She can be reached at grathy@aol.com or www.marymcgrathphotography.com.