This past Wednesday, in a voice vote, the Senate adopted the House of Representatives’ version of the Never Again Education Act, which now goes to the White House for the President Trump’s signature.
The legislation provides assistance for Holocaust education and other programs promoting the importance of preventing hatred and bigotry. The bill, whose lead sponsors were Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) in the House, was sponsored in the Senate by Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV).
Rabbi Abba Cohen, Vice President for Government Affairs and Washington Director of Agudath Israel of America, helped support and promote the bill. He praised Rep. Maloney and Senator Rosen for their leadership on this issue and thanked the other cosponsors for their dedication in getting this important bill passed by both House and Senate.
“Raising the level of Holocaust awareness within United States, and particularly among our young people, is of paramount importance,” according to Rabbi Cohen. “The increased anti-Semitism that has spiked in recent years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is an alarming reality and we need to focus all available weapons in our battle against hate. Holocaust education is a critical component of that arsenal.
Under the bill, $10 million will be allocated over a five-year period to expand the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s educational programming across the country and to develop new resources, including a centralized website that will trace Holocaust history as well as post-Holocaust patterns of racist behavior.
Of particular importance, the funding will also expand support for resources and curricular material for educators. Teachers who integrate lessons of the Holocaust within their respective curricula may be eligible for funding. The bill’s assistance may also be channeled towards professional development programs, allowing for a greater number of local, regional, and national workshops. Ultimately, the hope is that the Museum will be able to offer joint programs of teacher training, thereby enhancing the discipline of Holocaust education throughout the nation – perhaps throughout the world.
“We fervently hope that today’s youth will become vigilant about protecting the world from individuals and organizations that seek, however subtly, to promote anti-Semitism and any form of hatred,” Rabbi Cohen said. “The more they learn about the Holocaust, the more they understand the evil, horror and stigma of it, and perhaps ‘never again’ will be one step closer.”