January 25, 2024 — New York, NY
As International Holocaust Remembrance Day approaches on January 27, American Jewish Committee (AJC) today released new data showing that an overwhelming consensus of Americans – both Jews and the general public – support Holocaust education in public schools and measures to invest in resources to teach about the Holocaust and to assess the effectiveness of these lessons.
As part of AJC public opinion surveys conducted this past fall, a vast majority of Americans say it is important to them for:
- Public schools to invest more resources in teaching age-appropriate lessons about the Holocaust for all students (91% for American Jews and 85% for U.S. adults);
- Statewide studies to be conducted to assess how effectively public-school districts are teaching the Holocaust (87% for American Jews and 81% for U.S. adults);
- State and local governments to include contemporary antisemitism in public school curricula (86% for American Jews and 75% for U.S. adults); and
- State and local governments to include Jewish studies within the ethnic studies or history curricula in public schools (77% for American Jews and 72% for U.S. adults)
All four of these action items echo steps outlined in the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism released by the Biden Administration last May. AJC is leading the effort to implement the National Strategy, which includes dozens of AJC's recommendations from AJC's Call to Action Against Antisemitism in America.
AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2022 Report revealed that Americans who know more about the Holocaust are more likely to know what antisemitism is, that it is a problem in the United States, and that it has increased in the past five years, compared to those who know less about the Holocaust.
“As we mark nearly 80 years since the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27, 1945, we need to take stock of historical revisionism and how Holocaust denial has grown, and continues to grow, as the last living generation of survivors continues to grow smaller,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “Last year’s State of Antisemitism in America Report showed how knowledge of the Holocaust correlates to a better understanding of antisemitism. If we are going to combat antisemitism, effective Holocaust education is a key and vital tool. At the same time, we should not only rely on Holocaust education to confront antisemitism. We also need to ensure the inclusion of Jewish narratives and Jewish history in ethnic studies and history curricula. Our 2023 survey showed overwhelming agreement among Jews and non-Jews about the importance of such education.”
The questions on Holocaust education initiatives are included in AJC’s State of Antisemitism in America 2023 Report based on a survey of U.S. Jews and a comparison study of U.S. adults conducted in late 2023. The full report will be available next month.
The surveys were conducted for AJC, a nonpartisan organization, by the independent research firm SSRS. The survey of Jewish adults was conducted from October 5 - November 21, 2023 and the general population survey was conducted October 17 – October 24, 2023.
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit www.ajc.org.