Holocaust education is mandatory in New Jersey and New York high schools, but not in Pennsylvania. And Rhonda Fink-Whitman is trying to change that.
She is a TV and radio personality, Jewish educator, and first-time novelist whose book, “94 Maidens,” tells a fictionalized version of her mother’s Holocaust story and Fink-Whitman’s attempt to trace her family history.
She had been urging members of the Pennsylvania Legislature to pass a bill requiring public middle and high schools in the state to provide Holocaust and genocide education, but for a while she got nowhere.
So she took to local college and university campuses to test students’ knowledge of the Holocaust and World War II and found that even the simplest history questions stumped most of them. And she got it all on tape. After the video went viral, her fight got new energy, and bills are back in the Pennsylvania House and Senate to mandate Holocaust and genocide education in state schools.