Orlando State Representative Rita Harris filed House Bill 863 to officially enshrine Holocaust Remembrance Day in Florida on January 27th each year. Boca Raton State Senator Lori Berman filed the companion legislation, Senate Bill 832.
Classroom instruction about the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and their harmful impacts on humanity will be provided as part of public educational instruction on this day or the nearest school day if Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on a weekend.
“Anti-Semitic acts have increased over the past few years across our state, including an incident in my own House District 44 in Orlando,” said Representative Harris.” “This bill to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day and further education about the Holocaust and harmful impacts of antisemitism sends a message to all Floridians that our diverse community is what makes Florida so special and despite these hateful attacks, everyone is welcome here.”
Over the past few years, Florida has experienced an alarming increase in anti-Semitic incidents. The Anti-Defamation League tracked over 50 incidents of anti-Semitism in Florida in 2022 and reported a 50% increase in incidents from 2020 to 2021. This bill aims to ensure that our students and the public at large will take to heart the lessons learned from the Holocaust and how anti-Semitism continues to negatively impact our state.
“The history of the Holocaust offers us an opportunity to reflect on the moral responsibilities of individual, societies and governments to remain vigilant against hatred, persecution and tyranny,” said Senator Berman. “Sadly, the vitriol and vandalism continues at an all-time high in Florida and this destructive path is clearing the way for more hate. It is more important than ever that we recommit ourselves to the principle of “Never Again” as we continue to see heightened attacks on Jewish people.”
Find the House Bill 863 legislation here.