The History of the JFCS Holocaust Center 
  • Education
  • Holocaust Center

Tauba Weiss

In 1977, San Francisco’s reputation as a city of peace and love was tested by an unexpected threat: just steps away from a synagogue in the Outer Sunset, a Nazi bookstore had opened its doors.  

This brazen, shameless act infuriated Tauba Weiss, a member of the city’s considerable population of Holocaust survivors. She confronted the shop owner on Erev Pesach, demanding that he explain himself—was it not enough that the Nazis had killed so many of her people in Europe just years ago? The man responded cruelly, “No, it was not enough.”  

Filled with anger, Tauba picked a rock up from the ground and hurled it through the storefront window. Her act of fearless defiance sparked a protest, and she was soon joined by other survivors—including her husband, Morris—who kicked in the door and threw the store’s inventory into the street. 

Not only did this protest eventually lead to the closure of the Nazi bookstore and run its proprietors out of town, but it galvanized the city’s entire Jewish population to take a stand. Tauba and the other survivors asked the local community to do three things: create a Holocaust Center,  start a Yom HaShoah public commemoration, and build a memorial. 

Within just two years, Holocaust Library and Research Center was established, which would later become the JFCS Holocaust Center. Every year still, the JFCS Holocaust Center brings leads a community Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) commemoration to remember those who perished and those who survived the Holocaust.

A bastion of Holocaust and genocide education, the JFCS Holocaust Center is guided always by the mantra of  Tauba Weiss: “Education brings understanding.” It stands as a testament to our community’s resolve to continuously stand up against antisemitism and all forms of hate.  

Learn more about the JFCS Holocaust Center here >

Watch a video of this history featuring Tauba Weiss >


Posted by Admin on June 6, 2023