WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), joined Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to introduce the Never Again Education Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a dedicated federal fund to provide teachers with resources and training necessary to teach our students the important lessons of the Holocaust. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) introduced companion legislation in January which currently has 204 bipartisan co-sponsors.
“There is overwhelming evidence that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the United States and across the globe,” said Senator Rosen. “In order to ensure that an event like the Holocaust never again occurs we must take concrete steps to address this growing epidemic of hate, and that begins through education and understanding of one of the most horrific chapters in history. I will continue to support and develop bipartisan policy solutions to fight hate in whatever form it takes because Never Again must mean Never Again for anyone.”
“The story of the Holocaust must always be taught so that the experience of the Holocaust may never be repeated,” said Senator Cramer. “With anti-Semitism on the rise in certain parts of the country, even among some elected officials, increased education about this terrible tragedy is as important as ever.”
“The Holocaust is humanity’s darkest hour, and we must never forget the stain it has left on history,” said Senator Rubio. “Incredibly, there are still some who deny the existence of the mass murder of six million Jewish people or, even worse, wrongly manipulate the horrors of the Holocaust to score cheap political points in today’s partisan climate. It is our duty to ensure that future generations know the history of the Holocaust in its entirety, so that the millions of innocent lives lost will never be forgotten and that the evils of anti-Semitism will never be repeated.”
“With more than 200 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, and now with Senate introduction, it’s clear that the momentum for the Never Again Education Act just keeps growing,” said Rep. Maloney. “It is up to all of us to make sure that we teach generations to come about the Holocaust and the dangers of intolerance and hate. No one is born with hate in their hearts – it is learned. But we can prevent that if we teach about the Holocaust in all our schools and give teachers the resources they need to do so.”
“Introducing this urgent legislation is another example of Senator Rosen’s strong, principled and independent leadership,” said Ellen Hershkin and Janice Weinman, Hadassah National President and CEO/Executive Director. “She is putting her commitment to the words ‘Never Again’ into action. Hadassah strongly supports the senator’s efforts to make quality Holocaust education available to students and teachers across America.”
BACKGROUND: The bipartisan Never Again Education Act would establish a federal fund at the Department of Education – the Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund – which will finance grants to public and private middle and high schools to help teachers develop and improve Holocaust education programs. The funding could cover training for educators, textbooks, transportation and housing for teachers to attend seminars, transportation for survivors to be brought to a school, and field trips. The bill would also direct experts at the Department of Education to work with trained Holocaust educators to conduct regional workshops to help teachers incorporate the sensitive subject of the Holocaust into their classrooms.
Senator Rosen holds the distinction of being the third female Jewish Senator in U.S. history, as well as the first former synagogue president to serve in the United States Senate. As such, Senator Rosen has been an outspoken advocate of combating anti-Semitism in the United States, the Middle East, Europe, and around the world.
Senator Rosen is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2018, which adopts a broad definition of anti-Semitism for the purposes of enforcing federal antidiscrimination laws in education. Specifically, the bill requires the Department of Education to consider this new definition of “anti-Semitism” as part of its assessment of whether an action based on an individual’s Jewish ancestry was motivated by anti-Semitic intent, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in education. Among other things, the definition includes making stereotypical allegations about the power of Jews as a collective, denying the Holocaust, and accusing Jewish citizens of a country of being more loyal to Israel to than to the interests of their own nation.
Earlier this year, Senator Rosen helped introduce bipartisan legislation to upgrade the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to the rank of an ambassador and require its Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation.
Senator Rosen attended the swearing in of the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Rosen was the only Member of Congress to attend the swearing-in ceremony for Special Envoy Elan Carr. Last Congress, Rosen co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation and helped advance it in the House, where it passed by a vote of 393-2. While serving in the House, then-Congresswoman Rosen served as a member of the Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism.
Rosen is also a co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) condemning anti-Semitism and committing Congress to addressing it. That legislation passed the Senate earlier this year by Unanimous Consent.