Holocaust and genocide education is mandated in the state of California, but many educators lack the resources they need to effectively teach this sensitive and difficult subject. With antisemitism at its highest levels in recent history, many are wondering how to correct course.
This November, the JFCS Holocaust Center held its inaugural symposium of the California Collaborative, which brought together California educators, survivors, and community leaders to discuss the future of Holocaust and genocide education in our state.
Building a Statewide Network
The California Collaborative—established by the JFCS Holocaust Center with support from a $1.9 Million grant from the Marin County Office of Education and the State of California this year— is a first-of-its-kind statewide network that connects educators, genocide survivors, and community leaders in Holocaust and genocide education. California is the first state in the United States to facilitate an organized statewide effort of this kind.
The November symposium brought the members of the California Collaborative together for the first time to direct the course of the Collaborative’s work together in response to the recent rise of antisemitism and hate in California’s communities and schools.
The California Collaborative Network
Members of the California Collaborative represent major organizations involved in advocacy and education across the state, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Avenues for Change: Holocaust and Genocide Education, Cambodian Genocide Resource Group, Central Valley Holocaust Educators’ Network (CVHEN), Facing History and Ourselves, The Genocide Education Project, Holocaust Museum LA, International Migration Sport and Education Corporation (IMSEC), Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, JFCS Holocaust Center, Museum of Tolerance, Redbud Resource Group, USC Shoah Foundation, and community leaders from the Cambodian, Rwandan, Armenian, Uyghur, and Indigenous communities.
During the three-day conference in San Francisco, members led and attended panels, witnessed survivor testimony, and engaged in productive discussions about how to best structure professional development for educators.
Teachers Conference on Holocaust and Genocide Education
In 2023, the California Collaborative will hold the first-ever conference for California teachers on teaching about the Holocaust and patterns of genocide. Over the next three years, the initiative will reach an estimated 700 teachers and ultimately impact approximately 70,000 California students.
“Our goal in providing teacher training and curriculum development is to support all California teachers to bring these lessons back to the classrooms. We want to give them the confidence they need to incorporate lessons from the Holocaust and genocide, and to address the surge of antisemitism and all types of hate that we are seeing in our California school communities.”Morgan Blum Schneider, Director of the JFCS Holocaust Center