Understanding Holocaust Education Mandates Across the Nation

Photo: Holocaust Survivor Dr. Alexander White, Phoenix Holocaust Association President Sheryl Bronkesh and Vice President Janice Friebaum at at an AZ Senate education committee meeting in January 2020. Photo Credit: Anthony Fusco, Jr.

The Phoenix Holocaust Association (PHA) has been working for several years to advance a mandate for Holocaust education in Arizona. In 2021, H.B. 2241 – mandating the Holocaust and other genocides are taught twice between seventh and 12th grades – was passed by the state legislature. Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill into law on July 9, 2021.

This research was undertaken in an effort to understand key elements of successful implementation of Holocaust education mandates in other states, including the role of Holocaust commissions, resource centers and funding. PHA wanted to learn the specific language and elements included in their bills. Are these states achieving the implementation they hoped for? If not, why, and what might they do differently in hindsight? To answer these questions, PHA reached out to Professor Volker Benkert, Assistant Professor of History at Arizona State University (ASU), to commission a study.

Dr. Benkert recommended Lindsey Stillman, who recently completed a master’s degree in World War II History from ASU, as an excellent candidate for this research. PHA engaged Ms. Stillman to conduct the study and prepare the following report with generous support from Steven and Suzanne Hilton. Mr. and Mrs. Hilton are major donors to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Mr. Hilton is the son of a Holocaust survivor.

Read the entire report here.

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