BLOG: The Importance of Holocaust Remembrance Days

By: Megan Healey, Deputy Press Secretary

May 09, 2016

Governor Wolf was honored to speak, for the second year in a row, at the annual Civic Commemoration of the Holocaust at the State Capitol. This ceremony is held each year during the Days of Remembrance, which honors the memories of the millions of Jews and others lost during the Holocaust while renewing vows to stand against injustice and prejudice.

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Joining the governor at this solemn event was Senator Jake Corman, Senator Rob Teplitz, Representative Michael Schlossberg, and Senator Judy Schwank, as well as religious leaders and advocates. Together, they honored six local survivors, who lit memorial candles:

  • Fira Kaganovsky (York)
  • Rose Machelmacher (Harrisburg)
  • Yolanda Rosenstein (Harrisburg)
  • Bluma Shapiro (York)
  • Ray Rosen in memory of Sam Rosen (Scranton)
  • Dr. Mark Glick in memoria of Sonia Glick( Harrisburg)
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Governor Wolf said the best way we can honor those lost is to ensure this never happens again.

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“Let us acknowledge today the power of ordinary actions,” Governor Wolf said. “And let us acknowledge the collective power of our ordinary actions in our day to day lives to keep extraordinary evil from ever happening again.”

One way of working toward that goal is to provide Pennsylvania’s children with an understanding of the importance of the protection of human rights and the potential consequences of unchecked ignorance, discrimination, and persecution.

Act 70 of 2014 encourages Pennsylvania schools to offer instruction related to the Holocaust, genocide, and human rights violations as part of social studies, language arts course, or other programs of study. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, under the leadership of Secretary Pedro Rivera and Governor Wolf, made training programs available for all 500 school districts. Moving forward, the law will require mandatory teaching of this curriculum if less than 90 percent of Pennsylvania schools have incorporated it on their own by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

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For more information on the Holocaust and the annual Days of the Remembrance, visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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