Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – A group of four senators – Marco Rubio and Kevin Cramer from the Republican Party, and Jacky Rosen and Richard Blumenthal from the Democratic Party – introduced Thursday a new bill that would establish a federal fund “to provide teachers with resources and training necessary to teach our students the important lessons of the Holocaust,” they announced in a statement.
Similar legislation was introduced at the House of Representatives in January. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Elise Stefanik (D-NY) are leading the effort in this chamber, joined by 204 co-sponsors.
The bill seeks to establish a federal fund at the Department of Education – the Holocaust Education Assistance Program Fund. According to a statement provided by the senators, these funds “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,” they added. “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.”
“There is overwhelming evidence that antisemitism is on the rise in the United States and across the globe,” said Rosen in a statement. “In order to ensure that an event like the Holocaust never again occurs, we must take concrete steps to address this growing epidemic of hate, and that begins through education and understanding of one of the most horrific chapters in history. I will continue to support and develop bipartisan policy solutions to fight hate in whatever form it takes because Never Again must mean Never Again for anyone.”
“The Holocaust is humanity’s darkest hour, and we must never forget the stain it has left on history,” Rubio added. “Incredibly, there are still some who deny the existence of the mass murder of 6 million Jewish people or, even worse, wrongly manipulate the horrors of the Holocaust to score cheap political points in today’s partisan climate. It is our duty to ensure that future generations know the history of the Holocaust in its entirety, so that the millions of innocent lives lost will never be forgotten and that the evils of antisemitism will never be repeated.”
Ellen Hershkin and Janice Weinman, Hadassah national president and its CEO and executive director, thanked Rosen for her efforts in this legislation.
“She is putting her commitment to the words ‘Never Again’ into action,” they said in a statement. “Hadassah strongly supports the senator’s efforts to make quality Holocaust education available to students and teachers across America.”
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