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  • Writer's pictureWendell Maxey

New Law Calls For An Increase In Holocaust Education Across New York State

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

In light of the recent antisemitic rhetoric and as attacks rise in New York and across the country, a new state law is taking a closer look the quality of Holocaust education across the state of New York.

State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic -- a Queens lawmaker who sponsored the legislation -- recently explained that, “even though we say Never Again, it’s sort of a nice phrase to say, we really need to put those words into action.”

The Holocaust Education Bill, which was sponsored by Rozic and state Senator Anna Kaplan in the Senate, was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul back in August. The news comes on the heels of last month, when state Education Department Deputy Commissioner Angelique Johnson-Dingle sent out a Holocaust Instruction Survey to school district superintendents throughout the state.

State Assemblywoman Rozic expressed that more needs to be done to educate young people who may not have direct experience with a Holocaust survivor and added, “it’s not ancient history. It’s fairly recent history” that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The nonprofit Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany released the 2020 U.S. Millennial Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Survey this past September. The 50-state survey of millennials and members of Generation Z revealed a lack of basic Holocaust knowledge, with New York young people among the lowest scorers. Some 58 percent of those between ages 18 and 39 could not name a single concentration camp, 19 percent said they believed Jews caused the Holocaust, and 28 percent said they believed the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated.

In those categories, New York had the worst score of any state in the country.

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