Ignorance is not an option
Of course I agree with Max Kleinman’s December 22 op ed, “Holocaust education must include the right of self-determination by the Jewish people,” but I think it does not go nearly far enough.
Holocaust education was mandated in New Jersey high schools in 1992. What about the citizens of our state who graduated from high school before 1992 and have chosen, deliberately or by disinterest, to learn nothing about the Holocaust or anything else about Jewish history?
There are many journals and books and lectures that teach not only about the Holocaust, but also about the centuries-long history of Jewish communities that were welcomed and then reviled in whatever country they lived. Pogroms, inquisitions, intifadas have been part of Jewish history for millennia.
Why aren’t we telling these stories to a broad audience? The only audiences are Jews themselves and the only places they are reviewed are in Jewish journals. Who reads them? I think it is incumbent upon the active Jewish community of our state (which has the largest Jewish population of any state in our country) to take up the mantle of teaching the amazing Jewish history to the citizens of our state and the nation. Ignorance of the past is not an option.