Today, the New York State Senate passed the Holocaust Education Bill, S.121B, with unanimous support. The bill by NYS Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills) and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows) would ensure that students across New York are receiving a meaningful education on the Holocaust as required by existing State law.
The bill passed the New York State Assembly with unanimous support earlier this week, and having now passed both houses of the Legislature, will be sent to Governor Kathy Hochul for her consideration.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan said “With antisemitism on the rise, and Holocaust misinformation exploding around the world, it’s never been more important that we learn the lessons of the Holocaust, and ensure our next generation knows about our history, no matter how dark or difficult the conversation may be. It’s why I’ve fought tirelessly to pass the Holocaust Education Bill, and I’m thrilled to be able to pass it today so that we can ensure we Never Forget. As we celebrate the passage of this vital legislation today, I’m so grateful for my partnership with Assemblymember Nily Rozic, for the leadership of Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and for the countless advocates and organizations who fought alongside me since day one of this important effort. To everyone who helped make this happen, thank you.”
A recent study by the nonprofit Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference) revealed disturbing findings about Holocaust knowledge among New Yorkers ages 18-39, including that 58% cannot name a single concentration camp, 19% believe that Jews caused the Holocaust, and 28% believe the Holocaust is a myth or has been exaggerated.
In each of these three metrics, New York had the worst score of any state in the US.
Legislation introduced in the New York State Senate and Assembly by Senator Kaplan and Assemblywoman Rozic, S.121B/A.472C, would address the problem by ensuring that New York students are learning about the Holocaust in school, something that 90% of the general population considers ‘important’ or ‘somewhat important’ according to a recent study by the American Jewish Committee (AJC).
The bill, S.121B/A.472C, would:
- Authorize the State Education Department to conduct a survey of schools to identify which schools are teaching about the Holocaust
- The survey is required to be attested to by the Superintendent of Schools that they are teaching about the Holocaust appropriately at each grade level
- The survey will have questions on how the district is meeting learning standards about the Holocaust
- Each school district that does not attest that they are meeting the standards will be required to issue a corrective action plan on how they plan to comply with standards
- Findings of the survey will be made available to legislative leaders
Find more content NYS Senator Anna M. Kaplan.
Photo credit: Senator Anna M. Kaplan speaks from the floor of the New York State Senate on the passage of the Holocaust Education Bill.