The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), in coordination with Vermont Holocaust Memorial (VTHM), and Echoes and Reflections, are offering Vermont teachers in grades 7-12 the state’s first “Holocaust Education Week” from January 23 to 27.
In commemoration of the United Nations-designated International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust on January 27th, Chittenden-Southeast District Senator Virginia “Ginny” Lyons has filed a Resolution designating January 23 through January 27 as the first “Vermont Holocaust Education Week.” The resolution is backed by a bipartisan group of legislators.
Senator Lyons, Senator Ram Hinsdale and President Pro Tempore Philip Baruth shared brief remarks in support of the resolution.
“At a time of continuing increasing antisemitism, hate, and intolerance throughout the United States, Vermont students must understand this timely history,” said Senator Lyons. A survey conducted by the Claims Conference found a significant lack of Holocaust knowledge in the United States.
“I’m thankful to the Vermont Holocaust Memorial (VTHM), the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), Echoes and Reflections, Senator Lyons, Senator Ram Hinsdale and the many senators and representatives that played a part in making Holocaust Education Week possible,” said Senator Baruth.
The Week of curated courses and presentations, backed by the AOE, are established to share fundamental history and vital lessons of Holocaust with Vermont students so they may develop an understanding of the mechanisms that led to genocide. In addition to innovative pedagogical methods from established national Holocaust education resources, Vermont teachers and their classrooms are invited to attend any of ten live, web-based presentations given by Holocaust survivors, their children, grandchildren, and others. Registration for the webinars, supported in part by Vermont Humanities, can be accessed with the rest of the Week’s details at: VT Holocaust Education Week.
“As a Jewish person of color, it’s important to me that we remember the conditions that gave rise to the Holocaust, one of the darkest periods in modern history,” said Senator Ram Hinsdale. “But it should also be an opportunity for us to learn about other genocides and human rights abuses, and stand in solidarity with one another in global tragedies and conflicts.”
The AOE has distributed the news of Holocaust Education Week offerings through its official Weekly Field Memo to Vermont educators and to Home Study Program families. VTHM, a volunteer-run nonprofit with a mission of sharing these invaluable messages, has been advocating for Holocaust education standards in Vermont for the past five years. Vermont is the only state in New England that does not have Holocaust and genocide education legislation.
Vermont Holocaust Memorial, a 501c3 charitable organization, is the state’s only group dedicated to facilitating Holocaust education as a means of preserving the memory of that genocide, and using those lessons to combat bigotry, bullying, and racism of all kinds. More information can be found at HolocaustMemorial-VT.org
Echoes & Reflections, a joint program of ADL, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem, is the premier source for Holocaust educational materials and dynamic content, empowering teachers and students with the insight needed to question the past and foresight to impact the future. Echoes partners with educators to support them, foster confidence, and amplify their skills and resources to teach about the Holocaust in a comprehensive and meaningful way.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed throughout the programs do not necessarily represent those of Vermont Humanities.