Last Thursday, in front of the Young Israel of Hillcrest, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and Comptroller Scott Stringer proposed a set of measures to combat discrimination and religious intolerance.
Rozic has introduced legislation for the state and city’s education departments to survey all middle and high schools for compliance with teaching Holocaust education in the eighth, tenth and eleventh grades. They are also asking for additional resources to boost coursework, instruction and curriculum related to the Holocaust.
“When study after study delineate embarassing ignorance and misinformation about the Holocaust, we need to rectify the issue at the source,” Rozic said . “Ensuring the Holocaust is properly taught in schools coupled with education on recognizing anti-Semitism and other hate crimes is a crucial first step in stopping dangerous conspiracy theories.”
According to the NYPD Hate Crimes Dashboard, between January 2019 and December 2020, there have been 356 confirmed incidents of anti-Jewish hate crimes in New York City, which have resulted in 66 arrests.
Confirmed anti-Semitic hate crimes were the most frequent type of biased incidents during that period, according to data from the dashboard.
In addition to more resources for Holocaust education, Rozic and Stringer are calling for better teacher training about hate and discrimination, and increased news literacy for students to identify misinformation.
In a statement, Stringer said the “egregious display” of anti-Semitism during the U.S. Capitol riot and the uptick in hate crimes around the city are a wake-up call to recommit to educating young people about the dangers of prejudice and bigotry.
“Schools are an important gateway for teaching civic values, and it is our duty to develop citizens who will stand up against discrimination and promote inclusion and acceptance,” he said. “It starts in the classroom.”