(New York City, NY — August 10, 2022) — StandWithUs thanks the New York Legislature and Governor Kathy Hochul for unanimously passing (61-0; 145-0) and signing Bill A472C/S121A into law. The signing ceremony took place on August 10 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan, with Avi Posnick, Executive Director for StandWithUs Northeast, attending, among many dignitaries.
Although Holocaust education is mandatory in New York, there has been a lack of overview regarding where and how it is taught. The bill seeks to further Holocaust education and authorizes the Commissioner of Education to conduct a survey in order to verify that Holocaust education is being adequately “provided at all appropriate grade levels" in compliance with current law. StandWithUs thanks the governor, the New York legislature, especially Assemblymember Nily Rozic and Senator Anna Kaplan, and the many co-sponsors who helped spearhead this legislation.
The bill follows Governor Hochul’s Proclamation in June 2022 to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism to help address the “intolerable levels of antisemitism” in “the nation and New York.” The proclamation adopts the IHRA definition as a “valuable tool used to determine contemporary manifestations of antisemitism.”
Avi Posnick noted, “Today’s bill to survey Holocaust education and bring it up to a meaningful standard for all New York students, combined with the recent proclamation adopting the IHRA definition of antisemitism, stresses the critical importance of learning from and about the Holocaust. At a time when antisemitic crimes are spiking across the nation, and 30 percent are taking place in New York and New Jersey, it’s high time to take these steps.”
Matt Lebovic, Director of the StandWithUs Center for Holocaust Education, stated, "A recent study reports that nearly half of all Americans don't know some of the most fundamental facts about the Holocaust. We agree that stepping up our education about the Holocaust and the universal lessons we must learn about the consequences of bigotry and hate when left unchecked is more essential than ever. That is why we have created curriculum for different age groups and will continue to do so in the toolbox we're offering."
On August 10, 2022, the New York governor and assembly took an important step to ensure that all its students are properly educated. The philosopher George Santayana observed, "Those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it." Through meaningful Holocaust education, we can protect all of our children.
StandWithUs is an international, nonprofit, and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, challenge misinformation, and fight against antisemitism.
Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films, and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on seven continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, and Australia.
For the last eleven years, StandWithUs has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4-stars) and GuideStar (Platinum).