In push for Never Again Education Act, Hadassah hosts Senate briefing

Newly elected Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen meets with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kyrsten Sinema in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington (photo credit: AL DRAGO/REUTERS)
Newly elected Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen meets with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Kyrsten Sinema in the U.S. Capitol, in Washington
(photo credit: AL DRAGO/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – In a push to promote the bipartisan Never Again Education Act, Hadassah, the Women’s Organization of America, hosted a Senate briefing Wednesday with congressional representatives and staffers of both parties. The bill was introduced earlier this year with 292 cosponsors in the House and 20 cosponsors in the Senate.
The bill seeks to 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.
Janice Weinman, CEO of Hadassah, told The Jerusalem Post that she was satisfied with the feedback regarding the legislation. “The responses that we are receiving are very positive because people throughout the United States are increasingly concerned about acts of violence, acts of hatred, and within the Jewish community, the rise of antisemitism,” she said.
“[That] people do not know about the consequences of previous acts of antisemitism such as the Holocaust, makes it more important that the next generations would understand, that we make them feel responsible and we make them want not to have this happen again,” Weinman added.
Nevada Sen. Jackie Rosen said the bill was vital to ensure that juveniles are aware of the horrors of the Holocaust.
“This bill would establish a federal fund to finance grants to public and private middle schools and high schools, because we’re going to help those teachers develop Holocaust education programs if they don’t have the funding,” she said in her remarks at the briefing.
“It’s also going to cover training for educators, textbooks, field trips for students, transportation, housing for teachers to come to seminars, and transportation for the remaining survivors to come and be that living testament so those young folks don’t just see it on a TV screen in black and white in a film that may not relate to them. They can see it in person. It will be an experience that they hopefully will never forget,” Rosen continued.
“The bills also going to direct experts at the Department of Education to work with training Holocaust educators to conduct regional workshops and help teachers incorporate the sensitive subject of Holocaust education into their classrooms,” she said.
William Daroff, the outgoing senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington Office of the Jewish Federations of North America, made his last lobbying appearance at the briefing, before leaving his position to become the next CEO of the Conference of Presidents.
“This legislation is necessary because of the basic lack of knowledge by a growing number about the Holocaust,” he said. “Recent studies have found that the Holocaust is fading from public memory. A survey by the Claims Conference shows that two-thirds of millennials cannot identify what Auschwitz was, or name a single concentration camp. Over one-third of all Americans surveyed believe that fewer than two million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Fifty-eight percent think something like the Holocaust could happen again,” he added.