Letters | Immigration and Holocaust Education

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Pennsylvania Serves As Model

Matt Silver’s article (“Massive Education Sought After Troubling Pew Study,” Jan. 29) exposes the failure of many states to teach students about the Holocaust, genocide and human rights. Unfortunately, the article fails to mention that our own Commonwealth has taken historic steps to rectify this problem.

Act 70 of 2014, bipartisan legislation spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, creates a framework for the teaching of the Holocaust, genocide and human rights violations. Since the bill’s enactment six years ago, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has worked with a task force to develop guidelines for schools to teach these subjects, to create free resource materials and to offer free training for teachers.

While not a mandate, Act 70 has been a resounding success. As of 2017, more than 90% of the public and charter schools in Pennsylvania had integrated these subjects into the curriculum. Since then, efforts continue to grow, and the Pennsylvania approach now serves as a model for other states. While much still needs to be done across the country to address these problems, we must acknowledge the hard work and bipartisan support which led to this important local achievement.

Marc Zucker | Chair, Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition

Missing Distinction

Max Weisman approaches immigration in a way that is common with progressives (“Immigration: Ugly Debate Not Aligned With Jewish Values,” Feb. 13). When he addresses immigration, he does not differentiate between legal and illegal immigration and that is disingenuous to those who have gone through the legal process to come to this (or any) country.

I wonder what he would tell the victims of crime committed by illegal immigrants, as well as people in line to immigrate legally or current citizens displaced from jobs by illegal immigrants entering the workforce accepting lower wages.

Legal immigrants are the foundation of this country and the laws they respect reflect Jewish values. Those who choose to come here illegally do not, and there is a case to be made that if a person knowingly breaks the law to come here, why would he or she obey the law once they arrived?

Matt Segal | Cary, North Carolina

1 COMMENT

  1. So happens the vast majority of immigrants who come here “illegally” are law-abiding and wish to become citizens.

    We. in America, do our best and have procedures that weed our the criminals, who have existed in every single group who have come here.

    It’s sad to see letters to the Jewish Exponent by people who see, in groups of desperate refugees, only criminals.

    It’s high time for some investigative reporting on the conditions that drive people in Latin America to seek refuge in America.

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