Holocaust Education Bill Passes Senate

May 14, 2020
OSWIECIM, POLAND – JANUARY 21: A detail view of barbed wire fence at the former Auschwitz concentration camp on January 21, 2020 in Oswiecim, Poland. The European Jewish Association, a pan-European body of Jewish communities, organized the two-day event to pay tribute to those murdered by the Nazis in Auschwitz-Birkenau. (Photo by Omar Marques/Getty Images)

The Never Again Education Act passed the Senate through unanimous consent on May 13.

The bipartisan bill allocates $10 million over a span of five years to expand the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s programming to schools all over the country. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), one of the co-sponsors of the bill, tweeted: “This important bill will provide our teachers with the resources they need to teach our students the lessons of the Holocaust.”

Another co-sponsor, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), tweeted, “Anti-Semitism is a serious threat. Failing to educate the next generation would only make history more likely to repeat itself. I thank my colleagues for recognizing the importance of this effort, and I look forward to @POTUS signing it.”

Jewish groups praised the bill’s passage.

“I am grateful for the leadership of Senators Jacky Rosen and Kevin Cramer, and Representatives Carolyn Maloney and Elise Stefanik, and to all Senators for passing this bill today, during Jewish American Heritage Month, to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust will be passed from one generation to the next,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement. “Through the study of the Holocaust, students can grow as responsible citizens in a democratic society and develop critical thinking, empathy, and social justice skills for the future.

He added: “We look forward to President Trump signing the bill into law and to working closely with teachers and districts across the country to ensure that Holocaust education is uniform and consistent across the country.”

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America National President Rhoda Smolow and CEO and Executive Director Janice Weinman similarly said in a joint statement, “The Never Again Education Act is our last best chance to make a significant and lasting impact against the rising tide of hatred in our country. The stakes are so high for communities across America, which is why Hadassah and its members have advocated for this bill relentlessly. Together, we’ve built up overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers to support educators and ensure students learn the universal lessons of the Holocaust.”

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) founder and chairman Pastor John Hagee also said in a statement, “If there exists a silver bullet to defeat the spread of bigotry and hatred, it is education. Through this legislation, teachers around the country will have federal support in their efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism by teaching about its abhorrent consequences.”

CUFI partnered with Hadassah in pushing the legislation’s passage.

The bill initially had passed the House of Representatives in January. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) reportedly put a hold on the bill on May 7 because he wanted some minor revisions done to the bill; ultimately, no changes were made.

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