House bill asks U.S. Holocaust museum to develop curriculum on Oct. 7 attack

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Michelle Steel (R-CA) seek to create resources for secondary schools to teach about the Oct. 7 attack and subsequent antisemitic and anti-Israel sentiment


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Michelle Steel (R-CA) are set to introduce a bill today directing the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to create a curriculum to teach about the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The USHMM already produces Holocaust education materials for use by schools across the country. The Oct. 7 curriculum would be targeted toward secondary schools.

The bill requests that the new curriculum include information on the Oct. 7 attack; how the history of antisemitism contributed to the attack; the spread of antisemitism and anti-Israel rhetoric on campuses; the spread of anti-Israel rhetoric on social media; and “denial and distortion as a form of antisemitism in the wake of such attacks.”

The bill defines antisemitism based on the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism and its contemporary examples, which have become controversial on portions of the left and right especially in the wake of a House vote last week on a separate antisemitism bill.

It also asks the Department of Education to report to the Congress on the curriculum.

“Hamas’s barbaric October 7th terrorist attack on Israel and the resulting tsunami of antisemitic incidents have transformed Jewish lives around the world,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “In an era when ADL data is showing a historic rise in antisemitism, education is more critical than ever to understand and curb this perennial hate.”

Karen Paikin Barall, the vice president of government relations for the Jewish Federations of North America, linked the bill to antisemitism on college campuses.

“The aftermath of the horrific October 7th Hamas attacks on Israel should serve as a stark reminder of what happens when hate is allowed to fester. Right now, we’re witnessing that hatred and prejudice play out in real time on college campuses across America. The creation of an educational curriculum about the terrorists’ attack on Israel — and the ensuing wave of antisemitism that has followed — will help to properly educate Americans on the horrific events that took place on that day,” Barall said. “The Jewish Federations enthusiastically support this bill that will give educators the tools they need to teach children about antisemitism well-before they head into the real world.”

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