Holocaust Organizations and Historians Urge Action to Preserve US Government Agency that Monitors Anti-Semitism


March 9, 2017

For media inquiries contact:
Lisa Safier, Museum of Jewish Heritage






New York. – In a powerful statement issued by an array of Holocaust institutions, scholars and educators from around the world and spearheaded by the Sousa Mendes Foundation, an alarm is being sounded on the widely circulating reports that US President Trump is planning to eliminate the office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism at the United States Department of State. This is an office established by Congress and headed by a Special Envoy. The statement is as follows:


The undersigned Holocaust remembrance organizations, educators, and historians ask you to speak out and take action against hatred.


We are alarmed by reports that the President plans to defund the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, an office that tracks and counteracts anti-Semitism abroad.  Ira Forman, the most recent Special Envoy in charge of that office, was our voice to a world in the throes of xenophobia and racism.  He recently wrote, “Anti-Semitism is not only a Jewish problem; Jew-hatred — like other forms of religious and ethnic prejudice — is a threat to the very foundations of liberal democracies.”   


We urge the US government to maintain and strengthen the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and to create a new agency to address this urgent issue domestically.  The need becomes clearer by the day as hatred, like a tidal wave, sweeps across the nation.  Cemeteries, synagogues, churches and mosques are being desecrated.  Jewish Community Centers and schools are targets of bomb threats and shootings. Swastikas and white supremacist threats appear on walls and on social media.  Now is the time to increase vigilance, not roll it back.


ACT NOW.  Call Your Representatives in Congress and the Senate.

Ask them to preserve the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism and to create such an office to fight domestic anti-Semitism as well. 

Senate: goo.gl/u9SBbX     Congress:  goo.gl/paBNA


Additional Actions You Can Take

Call your state representatives and ask them to fund educational programs designed to stop hatred and bullying — programs that build character and promote civics. Get involved with your school boards and interfaith groups.  Talk to your neighbors.  Rally in your town to promote tolerance and support victims of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, sexism and discrimination in all its forms.


This statement is co-authored by members of the Association of Holocaust Organizations, a network dedicated to the advancement of Holocaust education, remembrance and research, and is affirmed by the following institutions and individuals:




Center for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

Sonoma State University

Dr. Myrna Goodman, Director

Rohnert Park, CA


Haiti Jewish Refugee Legacy Project

Harriet and Bill Mohr, Founders

Menlo Park, CA


Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation

Elliot Felson, President

San Francisco, CA



The Colorado Holocaust Educators

Todd Hennessy, Director

Denver, CO



Holocaust Child Survivors of Connecticut

Mrs. Agnes Vertes, President

Weston, CT



Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, Inc.

Craig R. Weiner, President

Weston, FL


Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida

Pam Kancher, Executive Director

Maitland, FL



Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

Susan L. Abrams, CEO

Skokie, IL



The Sparks Fly Upward Foundation

Prof. Cathy Lesser Mansfield, Executive Director

Des Moines, IA



Midwest Center for Holocaust Education

Jean Zeldin, Executive Director/CEO

Overland Park, KS



Baltimore Jewish Council

Howard Libit, Executive Director

Baltimore, MD



Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston

Jeremy Burton, Executive Director

Boston, MA


Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Clark University

Dr. Mary Jane Rein, Executive Director

Worcester, MA


Terezin Music Foundation

Kate Gascoigne, Board Member

Boston, MA



Hidden Children and Child Survivors of Michigan

Rene Lichtman, Co-Chair

Detroit, MI



Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education

St. Cloud State University

Dr. Daniel Wildeson, Director

St. Cloud, MN


Tolerance in Motion

Laura Zelle, Director

Minneapolis, MN


World Without Genocide

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Dr. Ellen J. Kennedy, Executive Director

St. Paul, MN



Holocaust Museum and Learning Center

Jean Cavender, Executive Director

St. Louis, MO



Generations of the Shoah International (GSI)

Esther Finder, Member of the Coordinating Council

Henderson, NV


New Hampshire

Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Henry Knight, Director

Keene, NH


New Jersey

Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education (CHHANGE)

Brookdale Community College

Dale Daniels, Executive Director

Lincroft, NJ


The Council of Holocaust Educators

Colleen Tambuscio, President

Trenton, NJ


The Herbert and Leonard Littman Families Holocaust Resource Center, Rutgers University

Karen Small, Associate Director

New Brunswick, NJ


New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education

Lawrence M. Glaser, Executive Director

Trenton, NJ


New Mexico

Holocaust & Intolerance Museum of New Mexico

Lyn Berner, Administrator

Albuquerque, NM


New York

Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect

Steven Goldstein, Executive Director

New York, NY


Center for Holocaust Awareness & Information (CHAI)

Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester

Bonnie Abrams, Director

Rochester, NY


Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Project

Jodi Oriel, Director

Rochester, NY


Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Project

Regina Fabbro, Endowed Chair

Rochester, NY


Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center

Millie Jasper, Executive Director

White Plains, NY


Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County

Steven Markowitz, Chair

Glen Cove, NY


Holocaust Museum & Center for Tolerance and Education

Andrea Winograd, Executive Director

Suffern, NY


Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo

Mara Koven-Gelman, Executive Director

Buffalo, NY


Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

Michael S. Glickman, President and CEO

New York, NY


Sousa Mendes Foundation

Dr. Olivia Mattis, President

Huntington, NY


North Carolina

Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Studies

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Prof. John Cox, Director

Charlotte, NC


Center for Judaic, Holocaust and Peace Studies

Appalachian State University

Prof. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, Director

Boone, NC



The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education

Sarah Weiss, Executive Director

Cincinnati, OH


Dayton Holocaust Resource Center

Dr. Renate Frydman, Director

Dayton, OH


Ruth Fagerman Markowicz Holocaust Resource Center of Greater Toledo Ohio

Hindea Fagerman, Director

Toledo, OH



Eyes from the Ashes Educational Foundation

Dr. Ann Weiss, Director

Bryn Mawr, PA


National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education

Seton Hill University

Prof. Tim Crain, Director

Greensburg, PA


Philadelphia Center on the Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights

Dr. Marcia Sachs Littell, President

Merion Station, PA


World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants

Stefanie Seltzer, President

Bala Cynwyd, PA


South Carolina

Columbia Holocaust Education Commission

Dr. Lilly S. Filler, Co-Chair

Columbia, SC


The Selden K. Smith Foundation for Holocaust Education

Minda Miller

Columbia, SC



Tennessee Holocaust Commission

Danielle Kahane-Kaminsky, Executive Director

Nashville, TN



Holocaust Museum Houston

Dr. Kelly Zúñiga, CEO

Houston, TX



The Virginia Holocaust Museum

Dr. Charles W. Snydor, Acting Executive Director

Richmond Virginia



Music of Remembrance                 

Dr. Mina Miller, President and Artistic Director

Seattle, WA


The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity

Western Washington University

Dr. Sandra Alfers, Director

Bellingham, WA



Nathan and Esther Pelz Holocaust Education Resource Center

Dr. Shay Pilnik, Executive Director

Milwaukee, WI



Finnish Holocaust Remembrance Association

Oula Silvennoinen, Chairman

Helsinki, Finland


Human Security Initiative

Dr. Gregory Weeks, Director

Vienna, Austria




Prof. Dan J. Puckett

Department of History

Troy University

Montgomery, AL


Ms. Phyllis Weinstein, Founding President

Birmingham Holocaust Education Center

Birmingham, AL



Dr. Bill Younglove, Instructor and Teacher Supervisor

California State University Long Beach

Lakewood, CA



Prof. Emerita Mira Binford

Department of Communications

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT



Mark R. Freid, Board President

Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida

Orlando, FL


Barbara Goldstein, Executive Director

Holocaust Education Resource Council

Tallahassee, FL


Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff

Holocaust Educator, Author, and Child Survivor

Miami Beach, FL


Holly Mandelkern, Author and Holocaust Educator

Winter Park, FL


Arnold Mittelman, President

National Jewish Theater Foundation

Director, Holocaust Theater International Initiative

Coral Gables, FL


Dr. Leon Weissberg, Holocaust Educator

LTW Educational Consultants

Hollywood, FL



Ethan Bensinger, Documentary Filmmaker

Bensinger Global Media

Deerfield, IL



Jeanette Parmigiani, Director of Holocaust Programs

Baltimore Jewish Council

Baltimore, MD


Marsha Tishler, Holocaust Educator and Survivor

Rockville, MD



Jan Darsa, Senior Associate for Jewish Education

Facing History and Ourselves

Brookline, MA


Mark Ludwig, Executive Director

Terezin Music Foundation

Boston, MA



Dr. Henry Greenspan, Founder

Working Group on Integrity in Holocaust Remembrance

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI


Dr. Margaret Lincoln, Holocaust Educator

Battle Creek, MI


Dr. Jamie L. Wraight, Director

The Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

The University of Michigan – Dearborn

Dearborn, MI



Raymonde Fiol, Past President

Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada

Las Vegas, NV


New Hampshire

Prof. Paul Vincent, Chair

Department of Holocaust & Genocide Studies

Keene State College

Keene, NH


Thomas White, Coordinator of Educational Outreach

Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Keene, NH


New Jersey

Dr. Harvey R. Kornberg, Director

Koppelman Holocaust Center

Rider University

Lawrenceville, NJ


Peppy Margolis, Director of Community Programs

Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Branchburg, NJ


Prof. Ann L. Saltzman, Director Emerita

Center for Holocaust/Genocide Study

Drew University

Madison, NJ


Prof. Emerita Harriet Sepinwall, Former Co-Director

Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education

College of Saint Elizabeth

Morristown, NJ


Barbara Wind, Director

Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest

Whippany, NJ


New York

Prof. Mehnaz Afridi, Director

Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Education Center

Manhattan College

Riverdale, NY


Bonnie Gurewitsch, Retired Archivist and Curator

Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

New York, NY


Prof. Patricia A. Kress

Department of Psychology

Monroe Community College

Rochester, NY


Dr. Dan Leshem, Director

Kupferberg Holocaust Center

Queensborough Community College

Bayside, NY


Dr. Jud Newborn, Author and Multimedia Lecturer

Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Resistance Project

Founding Historian, Museum of Jewish Heritage (1986-2000)

New York, NY


Dr. Rochelle G. Saidel, Founder and Executive Director

Remember the Women Institute

New York, NY


Jill L. Santiago, Holocaust Educator

Suffolk County Community College

Selden, NY


Dr. William L. Shulman, President

Association of Holocaust Organizations

Hollis, NY


Prof. Angelique Stevens

Department of English/Philosophy

Monroe Community College

Rochester, NY


Dr. Jill Vexler, Anthropologist and Curator

New York, NY


Prof. Lenore J. Weitzman

Vice-President, Jewish Book Council

Visiting Scholar, NYU Department of History

New York, NY


Carla Wittes, Director of Program

March of Remembrance and Hope (Canada)

New York, NY



Prof. Emeritus Marty J. Kalb

Department of Fine Arts

Ohio Wesleyan University

Delaware, OH


Lilly Kurtz, Board Member

Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education

Cincinnati, OH



Sonia Marie Leikam

Holocaust and Genocide Educator

Portland, OR



Jeanette Friedman

Holocaust and Human Rights Educator and Author

Paradise Valley, PA


Prof. Jonathan Friedman, Director

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

West Chester University

West Chester, PA


Amanda J. Hornberger, Coordinator

Lakin Holocaust Library & Resource Center

Reading, PA


Prof. Emeritus Arthur B. Shostak

Department of Sociology

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA


South Carolina

Eileen Chepenik, Chair

South Carolina Council on the Holocaust

Charleston, SC


Dr. Lilly Filler, Secretary

South Carolina Council on the Holocaust

Columbia, SC


Mrs. Lyssa Harvey, Ed.S, Co-Chair

Columbia Holocaust Education Commission

Columbia, SC


Prof. Emeritus Kevin Lewis

Department of Religious Studies

University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC



Ilana Cone Kennedy, Director of Education

Holocaust Center for Humanity

Seattle, WA


Nancy Powell, Director

The Powell Heller Holocaust Education Conference

Tacoma, WA


Prof. Emeritus Ray Wolpow

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA



Beth Dotan, Former Director

Institute for Holocaust Education Omaha

Shimshit, Jezreel Valley



Marco Gutewort, Historian and Deputy Chairman

Castle and Memorial Site Lichtenburg

Bad Schmiedeberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany


Ilana Krygier Lapides, Director of Holocaust and Human Rights Education

Calgary Jewish Federation

Calgary, Canada