- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. (AP) - A western Massachusetts Holocaust museum that was to close at the end of June because the founder could no longer pay the rent has received a $3,000 donation that will allow it to stay open for six more months.

The donation from the Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation will pay the rent, said Darrell English, operator of the New England Holocaust Institute and Museum in North Adams. The money will also give him a window in which to formulate a long-term plan to keep the facility open, perhaps somewhere else.

“This is going to give me breathing room,” English told The Berkshire Eagle (http://bit.ly/1qmCQ2H ). “We want to grow, we want to expand. That’s always been the plan.”

English announced last month that the storefront museum that opened in 2012 would close because with his wife retiring from her job, he could no longer afford the rent. He also expressed disappointment that not as many people as he had hoped had visited.

English said it was through a friend of a friend that English was put in touch with Jerry Klinger, president of the Jewish American society, a national nonprofit organization.

The grant aligns with the mission of the society to “reflect on the Jewish-American experience,” said Klinger. “He has a treasure that needs to be kept alive.”

“We’re not dealing with just remembering what happened to Jews, we’re trying to remember what happened to humanity,” Klinger said.

English is an antiques appraiser and dealer and the museum contains many items from his own vast collection of World War II-era memorabilia including photos, posters, documents and soldier and prisoner uniforms.

He acknowledged that he does not know how to run a museum or raise money, and will use the six months to find people who do.

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Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com

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