Enacted SFY 2024-25 Budget Invests in Holocaust Curriculum in Public Schools

Speaker Carl Heastie, Education Committee Chair Michael Benedetto and Assemblymember Nily Rozic announced the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2024-25 Budget invests $500,000 to review and update curriculum on the Holocaust as antisemitism continues to rise across the state. The Anti-Defamation League reported that antisemitic incidents rose by 110 percent last year, with incidents of harassment up 226 percent in New York.

“With antisemitic attacks on the rise across our state, this funding arrives at a critical time for our children,” said Speaker Heastie. “This review will ensure that our students are accurately and completely taught the lessons of the Holocaust so we can ensure history never repeats itself.”

“We cannot properly prepare our students for the future without ensuring they’ve learned the lessons of our past,” said Assemblymember Benedetto. “This money will provide additional support to our public schools across the state as they work to provide students the skills needed to combat misinformation and make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

“With the latest wave of antisemitism and disinformation, it’s imperative that New York's educational system provide students with accurate and comprehensive information and knowledge on how quickly hate can spread,” said Assemblymember Rozic. “As we stand by our call for ‘Never Again’ we must ensure the next generation understands our collective history and has the tools needed to fight back misinformation and the antisemitism that grows out of it.”

“Hate does not exist in a vacuum; it is the result of ignorance and misinformation. This vital funding will help ensure that our state curriculum represents a true and accurate account of Holocaust history,” said Assemblymember Simcha Eichenstein. “Now more than ever, it is essential that we educate our young people about the horrors of the past. Only then can we ensure a more tolerant future. I thank Speaker Heastie for recognizing the significance of Holocaust education, especially during these troubling times.”

Assemblymember Sam Berger said, “The stories my grandparents shared with me about their experience surviving the Holocaust continue to guide me to this day. It is incumbent upon leaders to never allow humanity's capacity for evil to be forgotten. Now, more than ever, the next generation must be educated on the horrors of the past so that they learn to distinguish between right and wrong.”

“Too many people remain ignorant of the indiscriminate wholesale murder of more than 6 million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. Thank you to Speaker Heastie and the Assembly Majority for including funding in the budget to review and update curriculum on the Holocaust. The best way to fight antisemitism, and all forms of hate for that matter, is through education,” said Assemblymember and President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators Charles D. Lavine.

“With the number of Holocaust survivors dwindling, it is imperative that New York memorializes the horrific events of the Holocaust," said Assemblymember David Weprin. "According to a recent poll, one in five Americans aged 18-39 think the Holocaust was a myth. We need to bring a standards based curriculum to all New York public schools. Learning about the Holocaust can promote kindness in our youngest students while our middle schoolers can learn about words and symbols connected to hate, and our high schoolers learn about historical events and antisemitism. We cannot raise a generation of Holocaust deniers. There are lessons from the Holocaust that are applicable in all areas of our lives. We must remember so we can be better.”

This funding will ensure New York’s Holocaust curriculum is fully reviewed and updated to adequately prepare our students for the future.