Tolerance Museum Highlights Improbable Friendship

  • Museum Recounts Journey From Hate to Hope Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal have traveled a long route from tormernter and victim to friends and colleagues. They share their story at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles Image Credit: Museum of Tolerance

  • Museum Recounts Journey From Hate to Hope Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal have traveled a long route from tormernter and victim to friends and colleagues. They share their story at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles Image Credit: Museum of Tolerance

  • Museum Recounts Journey From Hate to Hope Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal have traveled a long route from tormernter and victim to friends and colleagues. They share their story at The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles Image Credit: Museum of Tolerance

Tolerance Museum Highlights Improbable Friendship

When he was 13, Matthew Boger’s mother kicked him out of the house because he was gay. Elsewhere in California, a young Tim Zaal's world is shaken when his brother is shot. The worlds of the two teens collide when Matthew, who is living on the streets of Hollywood, is savagely beaten by a group of skinheads, one of whom is Tim Zaal.

Twenty-five years later, the two will have yet another chance meeting, this time at a museum dedicated to tolerance.

These encounters form the basis of From Hate to Hope, a project at Los Angeles’ Museum of Tolerance, where Tim and Matt share their story and the journey it sparked. Their presentation, offered each month with additional sessions by arrangement, examines the roots of prejudice and discrimination and the human capacity for redemption and forgiveness. In addition, the project led to "Facing Fear," an Oscar-nominated documentary short film about the men's odyssey.

The Fetzer Institute has joined with the Museum of Tolerance to evaluate this project to learn more about how such powerful stories can inform our understanding of forgiveness in ways that can be life changing. Early findings suggest the program provides promising opportunities for family dialogue on the issues of tolerance and forgiveness and that incarcerated populations are interested in and may benefit from the chance to learn more about forgiveness, especially self-forgiveness.

This is a project of the Fetzer Advisory Council on the Arts.