ICAN Joins Governor Newsom for Launch of New Council on Holocaust & Genocide Education

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For Immediate Release: October 6, 2021

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Los Angeles, California: Today, the Israeli-American Civic Action Network (ICAN) joined California Governor Gavin Newsom and the Legislative Jewish Caucus to launch the Governor’s Council on Holocaust & Genocide Education. The Council will identify educational resources to teach California students about the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and other acts of genocide. The Council will strive to ensure that students develop the skills necessary to recognize and respond to hate, racism, and antisemitism.

“The Holocaust didn’t start with crematoria, it started with hate and propaganda, and ended with death marches,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan.

(California Governor Gavin Newsom announces the launch of a new Council on Holocaust and Genocide Education at a special event hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Weisenthal Center joined by members of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, Rabbi Marvin Heir, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, and Museum Director, Liebe Geft.)


“We find ourselves in a moment of history where hate pervades the public discourse,” said Governor Newsom. “National surveys have indicated a shocking decline in awareness among young people about the Holocaust and other acts of genocide. But in California, we are offering an antidote to the cynicism that this is how things are, and responding to that hate the best way we know how – with education and empathy.”

The Governor’s office announced that State Senator Henry Stern, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, will serve as Co-Chairs of the Council. Additionally, Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Jose Medina, James Ramos, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, and Senators Scott Wiener, Connie Leyva, and Susan Rubio will serve as members. 

“We thank Governor Newsom and the Jewish Caucus for their unwavering commitment to protect our community’s interests, combat antisemitism, and strengthen Holocaust education across the state,” said Vered Elkouby Nisim, chair of ICAN California. “This new council will build upon California’s past success in these policy areas and accelerate future progress.”

The Council will also include academics, advocates, and members of community organizations impacted by the Holocaust and genocides.

(From left to right: California Assemblymember Richard Bloom, Governor Gavin Newsom, Dillon Hosier, ICAN CEO.)

“I’m proud that ICAN’s leadership has made the design and development of innovative policies in support of strengthening Holocaust education and remembrance a priority,” said Dillon Hosier, CEO at ICAN. “Our unique ability to organize communities and advocate at every level of government has contributed to today’s success.”

In 2021, ICAN led several successful advocacy initiatives to promote Holocaust remembrance, preserve Holocaust history, and strengthen Holocaust education.

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About ICAN: The Israeli-American Civic Action Network is dedicated to empowering Israeli immigrants and American allies to create change for a better America, a more secure Israel, and a stronger U.S. – Israel alliance through advocacy education and civic action. Learn more at IsraelUSA.org.


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