With regard to Nicole Raz’s article, “Holocaust education bill a done deal,” in the Jewish News, like so many in the Jewish community of Arizona, the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix was tremendously pleased to see the passage of the Holocaust education mandate in the Arizona legislature.  We are grateful to the parties who worked diligently and invested great effort to bring this important legislation to fruition.

We honor and celebrate the achievements of those at the Phoenix Holocaust Association and Arizona Teaching the Holocaust initiative, among many others, who fought to get this important mandate passed to ensure that Holocaust education will be part of the curriculum in Arizona’s schools, so that both survivors’ legacies and the lessons of the Holocaust itself, will inspire future generations to goodness, compassion and justice. We especially commend the work of Holocaust survivors here in Arizona who came out to advocate for the bill’s passage. 

There were parties who desired different legislative outcomes on this matter. While the Board of Rabbis is not in a position to make legislative pronouncements, we will weigh in on concepts of Machloket in our community. We recognize that the various parties involved acted from a sense of wanting to do what is best for the community; there was heated, passionate debate over the best way to safeguard those interests. As the mandated Holocaust education bill heads to the Governor’s desk for signature, we acknowledge our shared connection as part of Am Yisrael and deep desires to serve the best interests of Klal Yisrael.

Rabbi Bonnie Sharfman, President of the Board of Rabbis of Greater Phoenix