Today, as we mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are set to affirm their commitments to ensuring that the unspeakable acts of the Holocaust remain in history, as H.R. 943, titled The Never Again Education Act, comes to the Floor for a vote. Supported by nearly 300 Representatives, along with half the Senate supporting a companion bill of the same name and text (S. 2085), this important legislation designates $10M over five years to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., for the purpose of expanding and bolstering Holocaust education for American children and beyond.
With anti-Semitism experiencing a sharp resurgence across the nation and the world, it has never been more important for our youth to be educated on how 6 million men, women, and children were brutally murdered against a backdrop of collective silence. Recent polling by Pew Research reveals that Americans are shockingly uneducated about the Holocaust – for example, only 45 percent of know how many Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and 31 percent do not know the general time period in which the Holocaust took place. This should be a wakeup call for all of us; only by a thorough understanding of the ultimate consequences of anti-Semitism and hate can we keep the promise of ‘Never Again.’
The American Jewish Congress declares this a proud day for our community, the living memorial that is the Holocaust Museum, and our perpetual responsibility to proactively combating evil. Bipartisan support generated for H.R. 943 by its lead authors and cosponsors Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), along with Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) for S. 2085, as well as President Trump and his Administration, is a promising reminder that, even in these politically divisive times, our nation’s leaders are united in remembering some of humanity’s darkest hours, safeguarding our promise to support and protect future generations.
The 116th Congress’ bipartisan Never Again Education Act (H.R. 943/S. 2085) 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.
Background provided by Senator Rosen.