Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum
Background on this Curriculum
In 1994 the legislature voted unanimously in favor of an act requiring education on the Holocaust and genocide in elementary and secondary education and it subsequently signed into law by Governor Whitman. The law indicates that issues of bias, prejudice, and bigotry, including bullying, through the teaching of the Holocaust and genocide, shall be included for all children from K–12th grade. Because this is a law and in Statute, any changes in standards would not impact the requirement of education on this topic in all New Jersey public schools.
The New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education, recognizing the importance of ongoing discussion, debate, and reexamination of its purposes, programs, and activities, reaffirms the significance of Holocaust and genocide studies as an integral aspect of public education in the state of New Jersey utilizing content drawn from a broad range of academic disciplines, interdisciplinary fields of study and the state standards. To that end, the Commission adopts the following as a foundation for its ongoing work.
Study of the Holocaust and genocides in the public schools of the State of New Jersey is designed to:
- Contribute to student attainment of the goals of general education based upon the academic standards established by the N.J. State Board of Education;
- Improve understanding of the significance of the Holocaust as a unique historical tragedy of the 20th century, and as one of a series of genocides that challenge humankind's commitments to tolerance, peace, and the preservation of human life;
- Provide opportunities for the analysis of patterns of human behavior by perpetrators, bystanders, victims of genocidal acts, individuals and groups who resisted, and others who acted to support and rescue members of targeted victim groups;
- Stimulate reflection on the fragility of democratic institutions and the roles and responsibilities of citizens in democratic societies to combat prejudice, hate, intolerance, and discrimination;
- Develop recognition and respect for cultural diversity, as well as for the protection of international human rights for all members of society; and
- Preserve and examine the legacy of the Holocaust and genocides as a form of public remembrance in an effort to combat efforts to deny historical truths and to honor the memory of survivors and their cultural legacies.
This Statute remains current and must be infused in every grade-level. On this page you will also find a list of supplemental resources provided by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education that could be used to support or extend that which is provided in the district’s curriculum guides