FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but the Jewish Federation of Arkansas director says every day is holocaust remembrance day for her family.
“A lot because I am the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor; it means a lot,” says Silvana Berlinski.
Her grandfather shared very few stories about his experiences, but she tries to imagine the atrocities he experienced on days like this.
“To remember what happened, so we know and acknowledge to never do something like that again,” says Berlinski.
In April, a new Arkansas law was passed requiring public school educators to teach Holocaust history starting in the 2022/2023 school year.
Mary Jordan with Springdale Public Schools says this curriculum was already incorporated in lesson plans well before the bill.
“Middle school students see some education on the Holocaust as a part of Arkansas history. Then in high school, we have classes on world, U.S., and European history, all of which touch on the Holocaust in one way or another,” says Jordan.
Rabbi Barry Block says Grade school education, in addition to remembrance days like these, is a step in the right direction.
“It’s important for the entire world to take note of the history of the Holocaust and to be aware that anti-semitic Semitism can be in often it, not only in the holocaust, deadly,” says Block.
While little can compare the horrors of the 1940s, he wants to emphasize anti-semitism is not a thing of the past.
“We live in relative prosperity in the United States today. Nonetheless, we are less than two weeks out I’ll be dreadful anti-Semitic act here in the United States,” says Block.
Springdale Public Schools says while teaching Holocaust history is nothing new in its building, in light of the Holocaust education bill, it will be reassessing its lesson plans to incorporate new materials from the Northwest Education Service Cooperative.