By Alice Nigoghosian
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum. In honor of this anniversary, as well as 2016 being the year when initial appointments were made to the Michigan Governor’s Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education to provide guidance in developing an appropriate curriculum to be taught in Michigan schools, the museum embarked on a special exhibit featuring Jewish and Armenian artifacts from the collection of James and Ana Melikian of Scottsdale, Ariz.
More than 200 people from both communities attended a preview of the collection at the Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum, hosted by the museum and Chairman Richard Manoogian of the Armenian Apostolic Society.
Mistress of Ceremonies Elizabeth Brazilian (of Child Safe Michigan) introduced Manoogian, who thanked everyone for coming and remembered his parents by stating “how proud they would be of this moment as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Manoogian Museum….” and also recognized “the collaborative efforts of the Jewish and Armenian communities to incorporate the histories of the Genocide and Holocaust in the State of Michigan’s education curriculum.”
Brazilian introduced Keith Pomeroy, chairman of Pomeroy Financial Services and Pomeroy Investment Company, and also a founding member of MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit), to speak on behalf of the Jewish community. Pomeroy thanked Manoogian “for hosting this special event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Museum, and for featuring both Jewish and Armenian artifacts and for including the Jewish community in this celebration.” He also expressed his appreciation to James Melikian for preserving such artifacts.
The Very Rev. Aren Jebejian of St. John Armenian Church, said Brazilian, provided a “warm welcome to our cultural home — or to the ‘Holy Land’ using the words of the late Dyana Kezelian, Lower School Principal of the Manoogian School. With the Church, the Cultural Hall, the AGBU Alex and Marie Manoogian School, the Veterans Building, the Mardigian Library, and the Manoogian Museum all in one complex, it truly is an Armenian ‘Holy Land.'”