Bipartisan Legislation Would Conduct The First-Ever Comprehensive Government Study On Holocaust Education Nationwide.
Legislation Comes At A Time When Incidents of Antisemitic Harassment, Vandalism, and Violence In The United States Are At Highest Levels On Record
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and James Lankford (R-OK), co-founders and co-chairs of the Senate Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Antisemitism, introduced the Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act to strengthen Holocaust education at public schools as well as awareness of available Holocaust educational resources in local communities. This bipartisan legislation would direct the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to conduct the first-ever comprehensive study on Holocaust education and resources nationwide to help improve the ways in which public schools are equipped to teach about the Holocaust and antisemitism.
“One of the most effective ways to combat the rise of anti-Jewish bigotry is to improve how we teach about the Holocaust and talk about the dangers of antisemitism,” said Senator Rosen. “Never again means ensuring we never forget the important lessons from one of history’s darkest chapters, and our bipartisan legislation will help ensure that Holocaust education in the U.S. is accurate and comprehensive. I’ll continue fighting to make sure we combat antisemitism through education and action.”
“Antisemitism and anti-Jewish crimes remain sadly on the rise in our nation and around the world,” said Senator Lankford. “Senator Rosen and I continue to work together to call out antisemitism no matter who or where it comes from. Our HEAL Act will help assess the current Holocaust-related resources available to schools and communities to ensure educators have the tools they need to teach future generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust and the devastating impact of antisemitism. I will continue to do what I can to ensure future generations never forget the Holocaust and understand the fact that everyone should be able to freely live their faith without fear or persecution.”
“ADL studies show that Holocaust education builds understanding and empathy in young people,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. “At a time of historically high antisemitic incidents and attitudes, consistent and thorough Holocaust education curriculum is necessary to ensure that future generations are equipped with the knowledge and understanding needed to combat hatred and prejudice in all forms. ADL applauds the Senate introduction of the bipartisan Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act and its review of Holocaust education efforts in States, local educational agencies, and public elementary and secondary schools. We are grateful to Senators Rosen and Lankford for leading this important bipartisan initiative and urge its swift passage.”
“AJC recently surveyed adults in the United States and found that only 53% of Americans over the age of 18 knew that approximately six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust,” said Julie Fishman Rayman, Senior Director of Policy and Political Affairs at American Jewish Committee. “Knowing about the Holocaust contributes to understanding and confronting antisemitism in the United States. We applaud Senators Rosen and Lankford for spearheading the HEAL Act in the Senate and appreciate their commitment to supporting educators throughout the country and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in its mission to ensure the Holocaust is taught in an accurate and comprehensive manner.”
“As members of the Jewish community, our personal experiences make us keenly aware of the impact education plays on preventing rising antisemitism across the globe,” said Adam Teitelbaum, Associate Vice President of Public Affairs at Jewish Federation of North America. “That is why Jewish Federations have long advocated for Holocaust education requirements in every state. But we also know that a requirement is only part of the solution – ensuring quality is another critical aspiration. The Holocaust Education and Antisemitism Lessons (HEAL) Act is an important next step in the multi-faceted efforts and Congressional commitment to eradicating anti-Jewish hate through education.”
Senators Rosen and Lankford have been leading the way in Congress to combat the rise of antisemitism in the United States. Both Rosen and Lankford successfully pushed President Biden to establish a national strategy to combat antisemitism. In 2020, Senator Rosen’s bipartisan Never Again Education Act was signed into law, which established a federal fund through the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to provide teachers with the resources and training necessary to teach students the important lessons of the Holocaust.