Controversy and uncertainty continue at Richmond's Holocaust Museum after a founding member of the museum was ousted from his post there.
Jay Ipson was a holocaust survivor and co-founder of the museum. Much of the museum's story is his personal story of survival.
Recently, Ipson was asked to step down as Executive Director. Then, reportedly, he was asked to leave the museum entirely, only to return as a volunteer.
"It's a crime," said Elaine Grandis Peck, a longtime volunteer with the board. "It's deplorable. It's unbelievable that someone who has the stature of Jay Ipson could be ousted in the manner in which he has been."
For months, Ipson's supporters have been fighting for him to return to an office with the museum.
They say he was kicked out because of an ongoing disagreement with the Board's Chairman.
"The chairman of the board has a really famous rule," said Ipson. "He has the golden rule. He that has the gold rules. And that's what happened at this museum."
"I think between the two of them there was a clash and that caused all of this to happen," said Mark Fetter, Co-Founder Richmond Holocaust Museum.
Supporters have started a facebook page and even had shirts made, arguing that "Jay must Stay" with the museum.
Monday, a motion was made to make Ipson the President Emeritus and to return him to an office in the museum. Ipson supporters lined the walk into the building, encouraging members to vote in their favor. In the end, the Trustees decided that decision would come later, on July 26.
"Sometimes heads buck," said Board of Trustees member, Brett Zwerdling. "For the last year and a half the board has been trying to find a compromise between two people that have done a wealth of good for the museum."
Zwerdling made the motion to reinstate Ipson with a position and an office. He says he thinks it's a matter of establishing a new position and the parameters for which Ipson would act in that position, not of deciding whether to bring Ipson back.
"The board wants to work together to establish a set of emeritus guidelines and then come to an agreement on that. It's my belief that he will remain in the museum," said Zwerdling.
Ipson said, that's all he ever wanted was a part at the museum he helped build.
"That gives me the same access that I had. I can go out and see the people, greet them, talk to them about the Holocaust."
We're told the vote will come on July 26 at a full board meeting. A simple majority will decide whether Ipson gets reassigned a position at the museum.
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