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JFCS Holocaust Center Establishes California Collaborative for Holocaust and Genocide Education

Jewish Family and Children’s Services Holocaust Center has established the California Collaborative for Holocaust and Genocide Education, with support from a $1.9 Million grant from the Marin County Office of Education and the State of California.

The California Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind statewide network, will connect educators, genocide survivors, and community leaders in order to support California teachers to effectively teach Holocaust and genocide education in their classrooms and address the surge of antisemitism and hate in California school communities.

Members of the new statewide collaborative network include the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation; the Museum of Tolerance; the Genocide Education Project; Facing History and Ourselves; Holocaust Museum LA; the Anti-Defamation League; the Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation; Redbud Resource Group; Avenues for Change, Central Valley Holocaust Educators’ Network ; and leaders from the Cambodian, Rwandan, Armenian, Sudanese, Uyghur, and Indigenous communities.

In 2023, the California Collaborative will hold the first-ever conference for California teachers on teaching the Holocaust and genocide. Over the next three years, the initiative will reach an estimated 700 teachers and ultimately impact an estimated 70,000 California students.

The California Collaborative will work closely with the inaugural Governor’s Council for Holocaust and Genocide Education, which has been developed to promote Holocaust and genocide education throughout the State of California. The Council will survey the status of Holocaust and genocide education, promote its implementation, and make recommendations to the State Department of Education, Legislature, and/or other entities to advocate for such education. This partnership reflects a highly-focused statewide effort to elevate Holocaust and genocide education for the benefit of all California’s children and our society as a whole.

Confronting Antisemitism Together

Marin Superintendent of Schools, Mary Jane Burke, has been a leader in addressing hate and injustice in Marin County. In 2020, the Marin County Office of Education and the JFCS Holocaust Center together launched the Confronting Antisemitism series, an educational workshop series that reached more than 1,500 students, teachers and community members to address instances of hate and antisemitism in their community.

Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke said, “The students and schools of our community have greatly benefited from the ongoing partnership with the JFCS HolocaustCenter. The California Collaborative will result in important resources being made available to schools locally and throughout the state. The Marin County Office of Education is proud to be part of this important work.”

Read coverage of this exciting news in the Marin Independent Journal.