This week, Jewish Federation's Manager of Community Relations and Israel Engagement, Dan Rozett, joined an interfaith group of students from local schools and houses of worship at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C — a Daniel Pearl Education Center program aimed to help young people understand how the consequences of hate speech can lead to violence and genocide if not addressed.
At the museum, Rozett spoke to the students about the importance of Holocaust and genocide education in combating antisemitism, hate, and bigotry. “This trip gave kids a chance to see just how the Holocaust unfolded,” said Rozett. “It served as an important reminder to never stay silent, but rather to call out hate every time, in every form.”
Rozett participated in the trip due to his role managing Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), whose mission includes empowering the community to combat antisemitism, and Federation’s long-standing relationship with the Daniel Pearl Education Center, who graciously invited him to address the group.
Interestingly, this year’s Pearl Center trip coincides with the JCRC’s current work with NJ State Senator Vin Gopal and the NJ Senate Education Committee to improve Holocaust and genocide education in NJ public schools. Holocaust and genocide education is mandated in the state of NJ, however, there is no uniform structure or set curriculum.
S3145, which was recently passed by the NJ Senate Education Committee, and a companion bill A4720 in the NJ Assembly, slated for a vote in the coming weeks, are important first steps to address and improve Holocaust and genocide education standards.
Federation is expected to provide testimony to the NJ Assembly Education Committee about bill A4720 and will continue to advocate for the measure as it did S3145.
The JCRC continues to work with Sen. Gopal’s office on further steps, coordinate with the NJ Commission on Holocaust Education regarding the Holocaust and genocide curriculum, and inform local students on the importance of addressing bias and intolerance.
For more information about the JCRC, visit jewishheartnj.org/jcrc.