Following a unanimous decision taken by its Board of Trustees at its November 5, 2009 meeting, the Simon Wiesenthal Center
has announced that it is redesigning its Museum of Tolerance project in Jerusalem to reflect today's world economic realities, and will shortly name the new architect for the redesign.
"This is the right decision for us," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the Center's Founder and Dean. "The good news, however, is that the project is moving forward; we have a fantastic site in the heart of Jerusalem and we can now refocus all of our energies on bringing to Jerusalem and the people of Israel, a project of crucial significance to its future. Unfortunately, Frank Gehry will not be the architect on the project. Frank has done an amazing job and has worked with us at every step of the way to realize our dreams. We will shortly name the new architect for the redesign."
Frank Gehry said, "I greatly value my relationship with Rabbi Marvin Hier and admire his determination to establish a Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem that will serve as the embodiment of human respect and compassion. Unfortunately, our staff and resources are committed to other projects around the globe, and thus I will not be able to participate in the redesign effort. Contrary to a published report quoting my partner Craig Webb, this parting has nothing whatsoever to do with perceived political sensitivities. The Museum of Tolerance project is vitally important, and I have no doubt that Rabbi Hier will create a visitor experience that will bring people of all faiths closer together."