Massachusetts-based Jewish group offers $ 2,000 scholarship to local Jewish high school students and senior citizens who qualify for an upcoming March of the Living visit to Israel and Poland to promote Holocaust education .
The trip, as part of the scholarship initiative organized by New England Friends of the March of the Living, will take place from April 24 to May 8.
Already 10,000 teens from 50 countries have taken part in the annual March of the Living educational trips, which director of adolescent programming Aaron Kischel calls “life changing”.
Kischel notes that “students with Holocaust education are more likely to resist negative stereotypes and challenge incorrect and biased information. Education is the best way to prevent ignorance and hatred.
A 2020 survey in the United States found that 63% of Millennials and Gen Z were unaware that 6 million Jews were killed in WWII and the Holocaust, and 36% believed that 2 million Jews or less had been killed. Moreover, 48% of those questioned could not name a single concentration camp or Holocaust ghetto.
Deborah Lipstadt, professor of modern Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University who was appointed to become the United States’ special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, said, “When we fail to actively remember the facts, we risk a situation where prejudice and anti-Semitism arise. “
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed law last month, a bill that requires middle and high schools in the state to teach students about the history of genocide, such as the Holocaust. School districts are also required to file a description of their genocide lesson plan and educational programs annually with the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
As part of the bill, a genocide education trust fund was established to support the development of genocide education and to provide professional training for teachers.
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