Program Rationale

The expectation of all those involved in establishing the Center for the Study of the Holocaust was that the Center would become the vehicle for an ambitious educational program leading to a deeper understanding of citizens’ responsibility in the prevention of genocide. The Center is committed to expanding educational programs dealing the Holocaust and genocidal issues.

Two initiatives of the California State Legislature provide the framework for both the present and future work of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust at SSU. In September of 1992, Assembly Bill 3216, an amendment to Section 51220 of the Education Code was adopted to mandate a course of study for students in grades 7-12 dealing with issues of human rights. The bill specifically recognizes the “importance of teaching our youth ethical and moral behavior specifically relating to human rights violations, genocide issues, and slavery, as well as the Holocaust.” (Section 51220 of the Education Code, Section 3, Sub (a) (b). The California State Legislature also passed Assembly Bill 2003, known as the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance Education Act of 2003. AB 2003 creates the Center of Excellence on the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights and Tolerance that will operate in conjunction with affiliated campuses in the California State University system.

The Center for the Study of the Holocaust has been providing educational outreach programs addressing these very issues since 1987 and, in an effort to assist local school districts in fulfilling the mandates in AB 3216, took the lead in developing outreach and education programs aimed specifically at providing education on the Holocaust and other related issues in the K-12 venue. In 1992, in collaboration with the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust, the Center utilized a foundation grant to conduct successful teacher training workshops and a faculty conference on Holocaust issues.