On August 10, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a legislative package honoring and supporting Holocaust survivors. The legislatation will help ensure schools are providing high-quality Holocaust education, require museums to acknowledge art stolen by the Nazi regime and require the New York State Department of Financial Services to publish a list of financial institutions that voluntarily waive fees for Holocaust reparation payments.
"As New Yorkers, we are united in our solemn commitment to Holocaust survivors: We will never forget," said Gov. Hochul. "These are individuals who have endured unspeakable tragedy but nonetheless have persevered to build lives of meaning and purpose right here in New York. We owe it to them, their families, and the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust to honor their memories and ensure future generations understand the horrors of this era."
The signing took place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. At the event, remarks were made by several local politicians and Jewish institutional leaders praising the administration for its commendable actions.
"Our Holocaust survivors are a precious gift and it is incumbent upon us to assist them in any way we can," said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. "This bill, which I sponsored with Senator Zellnor Myrie, will ensure that our Holocaust survivors are aware of which banks are waiving fees on reparations payments, fees that could add up substantially. Our elderly survivors that have endured so much should not be charged corporate transaction fees for payments that are rightfully theirs. They deserve better. Thank you Governor Hochul for recognizing the significance of this bill and signing it into law today."
Dr. Shay Pilnik, Director of the Emil A. and Jenny Fish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, shared that "the Holocaust teaches us powerful lessons on the moral and physical lows that a society guided by antisemitism, racism and hatred can be led to. And it obligates us to remember, to educate, to act — to ensure that these evils find no home in our state and country. These are lessons that must be taught in every middle school and high school in New York State."
StandWithUs Regional Director Avi Posnick said, "StandWithUs thanks Governor Hochul for signing Bill A472C/S121A into law," said StandWithUs regional director Avi Posnick. "This legislation surveys Holocaust education to bring to it up to a meaningful standard for all New York students. At a time when antisemitic crimes are spiking, we are grateful for Governor Hochul's leadership in the fight against this scourge."