July 23, 2019

Sponsors honored for law on Holocaust, genocide education

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State House – Four sponsors of legislation that now requires Rhode Island schools to teach students about genocide and the Holocaust were recognized last week at Rhode Island Interfaith Commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence), Rep. Katherine S. Kazarian (D-Dist. 63, East Providence), Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence) and former representative Aaron Regunberg of Providence were presented the Never Again award to honor their effort to ensure future generations learn about the atrocities of the past so they will not be repeated.

The legislation (2016-H 7488A, 2016-S 2396A), which was passed and signed into law in 2016, requires each school district to include in its curriculum a unit on the Holocaust and genocide for every student by the time he or she graduates. The subject could be taught in either middle school or high school, as the local district deems appropriate. Additionally, the law requires the state Department of Education to provide Holocaust and genocide curriculum materials to school districts.

The award was given May 1 during the Rhode Island Interfaith Commemoration of Yom HaShoah at Temple Emanu-El in Providence.

The annual program is a collaboration between the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center, the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, the Greater Rhode Island Board of Rabbis and Temple Emanu-El. The event commemorates the annihilation of 6 million Jews, along with people of many nations who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the extreme racist attitudes, policies and actions carried out by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. The day also celebrates the heroism of Jewish resistance during this period.

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