The Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday that would create the Holocaust and Genocide Memorial and Education Commission.

State Sen. Michael Rulli, a Republican, drafted Senate Bill 372 after reading a study that ranked Ohio 32nd in Holocaust knowledge among millennials and Generation Z.

“I believe now, more than ever, we need to help educate the next generations about how horrors like the Holocaust can be perpetrated by even the most civilized and sophisticated people,” said Rulli. “My hope is that Ohio’s youth will become enlightened as a result of this legislation to avoid such atrocities from ever happening again.”

The commission would be comprised of two appointed members from the majority and minority parties from both the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives, eight appointed members by the governor, the superintendent of Public Instruction, the chancellor of higher education and the director of Veterans Services.

Bonnie Deutsch Burdman, executive director of community relations and government affairs at the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, applauded the bill “to ensuring that all Ohioans learn the lessons of the past to ensure a better future.”

Howie Beigelman, executive director of Ohio Jewish Communities, said the “overwhelmingly bipartisan, unanimous vote by the Senate sends a powerful message as to where Ohio stands. That message could not be more clear: Ohio’s leaders stand with the victims of the Holocaust and they stand against hate.”

Senate Bill 372 will now be sent to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.


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