“Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.”
~ Robert Green Ingersoll, 1833-1899
As a survivor of the Holocaust, Bill Konar experienced the unprecedented consequences of unchecked hatred. To avoid repeating the darkest moments of our history, we believe that the lessons of the past must inform our lives today, beginning with each individual and extending through every level of society. Citizens and leaders worldwide must consider what they can do, personally and every day, to confront hatred and promote human dignity.
In the area of tolerance education, we support institutions and programs devoted to:
- Fostering understanding and tolerance among different racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and political groups
- Educating students, community leaders, and people in positions of authority about the consequences of bias and hatred, and the moral responsibilities inherent in their roles
- Promoting Holocaust and genocide education as a means to link historical lessons with contemporary obligations
The William and Sheila Konar Foundation has supported the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Each year, the Levine Institute trains thousands of teachers, law enforcement officers, district attorneys, and military personnel about the moral aspects of the leadership roles they play in society. In 2008, the family created the William Konar Fund to provide ongoing endowment and annual support for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s educational mission.
The Foundation supports the work of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. Contributions by the Foundation and individual family members helped establish the first endowed chair in Holocaust Genocide Studies at any community college in the United States.
The Foundation also supports the work of Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization promoting the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world. Created as a bipartisan response to the threat of totalitarianism during World War II, Freedom House today analyzes challenges to freedom, advocates for greater political rights and civil liberties, and supports frontline activists to defend human rights and promote democratic change. Its flagship publication is “Freedom in the World,” published annually since 1972.