Holocaust museum founder reportedly forced to take early exit

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A major shake-up at the Virginia Holocaust Museum is angering many of its supporters. The founder and long-time president may be forced out sooner than expected.

Museum president and co-founder Jay Ipson is supposed to leave July 1. Now, it's reported he's been told to pack up his belongings ahead of that date.

Ipson and his signature cowboy hat have been a staple at the museum since he opened it back in 1997.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Ipson was originally asked to leave after he insinuated in a newsletter that another board member prevented some holocaust survivors from collecting restitution.

There's now a Facebook page quickly gaining steam trying to help Ipson keep his job. The group called "Jay Must Stay" already has nearly 700 members. Many people are leaving comments saying they can't imagine the museum without him.

The holocaust is very personal for Ipson. The Times-Dispatch says Ipson's family escaped deportation to a Nazi death camp back in 1943 by hiding underneath a potato field in Lithuania. The museum's assistant executive director will take over for Ipson.

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