The Illinois Holocaust Museum serves to honor "the memory of the millions who were murdered during the Holocaust, but it also salutes the courage and resilience of the survivors. They are the people who rebuilt their lives and awoke the conscience of humanity, so that none of us may ever forget" ("History").
Through events, programs, student educational programs, and exhibitions, visitors can learn about the Holocaust, human rights, and the fight for humanity. The museum's exhibitions include the Zev & Shifra Karkomi Permanent Exhibition, the Harvey L Miller Youth Exhibition (for ages 8-12 years old), and the Legacy of Absence Gallery, an artistic patronage to the Holocaust victims.
Shocked when "neo-Nazis threatened to march in Skokie in the late 1970s... Chicago-area survivors joined together to form the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois" ("History"). This foundation created the museum and educational center, wanting to serve and educate the public, especially children, on the Holocaust and its haunting past.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center opened in April 2009. President Emeritus Sam Harris says, "We dreamt of creating a place that would not only serve as a memorial to our families that perished and the millions lost, but also where young minds could learn the terrible dangers of prejudice and hatred" ("History").
This "organization successfully secured the 1990 passage of the Holocaust Education Mandate, making Illinois the first state to require Holocaust Education in public schools" and was influential in expanding this requirement in 2005 to include the teasing of genocides in all Illinois schools ("History").