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Bill would require the state to examine how well the Holocaust is being taught

Jun 08, 2021 5:45 am

Susan Arbetter is reporting for Capital Tonight last September, the Claims Conference released a 50-state study that uncovered knowledge gaps among people 18-to-39 year-old concerning the Holocaust. The conference is an organization that negotiates for and disburses funds to individuals and organizations and seeks the return of Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust. In New York, 58 percent of people of that range, known as Millennials and Gen Z, could not name a concentration camp, 28 percent said they believed the Holocaust was a myth or has been exaggerated, and 19 percent said they believed Jews caused the Holocaust. New York was among the states with the lowest level of Holocaust knowledge, along with Georgia, Mississippi and Arkansas. Based on this data, state Senator Anna Kaplan and Assemblymember Nily Rozic, have sponsored a bill to study how well the state’s school districts are teaching the subject.  “What we know is that Holocaust survivors and first-hand stories are becoming less and less frequent, so students really need to have a better understanding of the lessons from that time period so that we don’t repeat it,” Rozic said. However, the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, does not support the bill, saying it would be “an unfunded mandat” on the state Education Department. State Education Department officials pointed out that Holocaust instruction is offered in the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades. Nevertheless, Rozic said, anti-Semitism and hate crimes are on the rise in New York, and data backs her up her claims. She said both her bill and its counterpart in the Senate are currently in their respective Rules Committees, the final step before a floor vote. Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.