An important message for the other 44 states without laws requiring Holocaust and Genocide education from Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors:
Read it here
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 Wows By Leigh Freedman
“Writing about the horrors of the Holocaust is not easy.
What impressed me most about this book was the author’s ability to meld the past with the present and provide an unbelievably emotional journey through that dark period of time.
The author’s easy writing style made the horrors she told so much easier to absorb.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about that horrific time in our history, particularly young university students who don’t even know there was a Holocaust.”
Thank you so much for your glowing review, Leigh! Not easy, for sure! You nailed it! Much appreciated! ~ Rhonda
We are a mere 145 votes away from 1000 signatures on our petition which is now directed at PA Gov. Tom Corbett!
Once we reach our goal, the petition gets fired off directly to him.
You sign the petition, he signs bill.
Let’s wrap this baby up!
Many thanks to New Voices Magazine for contributing the petition! It worked!
Dear Fellow Advocates,
WE DID IT!!!
I am beyond thrilled to report that in the last two weeks both the Pennsylvania House and Senate have UNANIMOUSLY passed the Holocaust and Education bill! It is now finally on its way to Governor Corbett and he is expected to sign it into law in the coming days!
I want you all to know that not a day passed since last June that I didn’t do SOMETHING to further the cause of this bill. Just ask my husband and kids! My work on this bill BEGAN with a viral video and continued EVERYDAY for a year in one respect or another; be it speaking to public audiences, getting national, international, and local mainstream media attention, building awareness via social media, contacting legislators, behind the scenes negotiations, traveling to Harrisburg, rallying the troops via phone and email, creating more videos, and being the public punching bag for the opposition in the state’s Jewish newspapers (which are owned and operated by the opposition) or as a fellow advocate called it, “Taking one for the team.” Through it all, I stayed the course and took the high road because I had six million souls, including the voice of my own grandfather who was murdered at Auschwitz, whispering in my ear that my pursuit was righteous and that I should never give up the fight.
No good deed goes unpunished, and sacrifices were made, but it was all worth it! The mother and the educator in me knew that our kids deserved better than what had been laid upon the table for them. Plus, those newspapers made great liners for my cat’s litter box!
Of course we couldn’t have done it without YOU! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your efforts, your calls, emails, sharing The Mandate Video, signing our petition, spreading the word and helping to strengthen our voice in Harrisburg! Together we made history! It’s been twenty years since such a measure has been passed in the US! Our time has come!
The opposition to the mandate wanted a voluntary measure and we demanded a requirement. Common ground was reached on this bill. Starting in the school year 2015-2016 the measure will begin; curriculum will be built, teachers will be trained and strongly encouraged to teach Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Violations. By Nov. 2017, all schools must report to the Dept. of Ed. If less than 90% are teaching it, then our regulation kicks in requiring them to do so. Be assured that as the bill matures we will be monitoring its progress.
Rep. Brendan Boyle, the original author of the bill which included the mandate and our legislative champion of this cause, said it best when he announced that we didn’t get 100% of what we wanted, but we got literally 90% and that is an honorable compromise.
I agree. I am satisfied that this is a good measure that will get the ball rolling on Holocaust and Genocide education in Pennsylvania’s public, charter, and cyber schools. I see this as a clear victory for Pennsylvania’s children and for our future as a human race and I am over-the-moon happy that our last generation of liberators, WWII heroes, and survivors, including my own mother, got to see it happen in their lifetime.
Please indulge me while I say it again, better yet, say it with me…WE DID IT!!! We made Pennsylvania the 6th state to have a law on the books requiring Holocaust and Genocide education! For that we should all be very proud! It is my hope that the other 44 states will follow our lead and enact similar requirements for their students across the nation.
I will leave you with a comment from Rep. Gene DiGirolamo. “The Holocaust and other acts of genocide are horrific events in history that illustrate the true extent of atrocities possible in this world. It is only through teaching about these events, along with the actions that led up to them, the response of citizens and world governments to them, and the outcome of such carnage, that we can teach our children how to be better leaders and a better citizenry than those who came before them.”
Now, for more time with my husband, my kids, my mom, and my true friends whose constant love and support kept me going!
Wishing you all a safe, relaxing, enjoyable summer! Hope you’ll all stay in touch and if you need help getting a similar bill underway in your own state please know that my team and I are ready, willing, and able to help! And if you still haven’t read 94 Maidens, pick up a copy! My book makes a great summer read! At least, that’s what they tell me! 🙂
All my best always,
In her first on air interview post the unanimous PA legislature vote in favor of HB 1424, Rhonda Fink-Whitman, author of 94 Maidens, speaks about the passage of the Holocaust and Genocide education bill and what it means for Pennsylvania’s future on TalkRadio WPHT with host Dom Giordano.
Hear it here
The original author of the Holocaust and Genocide Education bill, Rep. Brendan Boyle, encourages his colleagues to vote for HB 1424.
Watch the short video here
The vote was UNANIMOUS!
This wouldn’t have happened without him. Remember that when you go to the polls in Nov.
Can’t wait to see what he gets done in Congress!