About Our Council

The North Carolina Council on the Holocaust is a state agency in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, established in 1981 by Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., and authorized in 1985, by the General Assembly. It is composed of 24 members, of whom six are Holocaust survivors or first-generation lineal descendants of survivors. All members are volunteers appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House, or the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; six are appointed at large.

Through its education and commemoration programs, the Council strives to help prevent atrocities similar to the systematic program of mass murder by the Nazis of six million Jews and other targeted groups, including Roma (gypsies), homosexuals, handicapped persons, and religious and political dissidents, from 1933 to 1945.

The primary mission of the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust is to educate North Carolina public school teachers and students about the facts and lessons learned from the Holocaust. The Holocaust Council also provides:

  1. Historical information regarding the Holocaust and antisemitism to public school students and teachers
  2. Lesson plans and teaching strategies for teachers on how to teach the history of antisemitism and the Holocaust.

The North Carolina Council on the Holocaust is the only state-mandated organization in North Carolina with the objective to educate the public about the Holocaust. Now, with the Gizella Abramson Holocaust and Genocide legislation (November 2021) in English and social studies, teachers in Grades 6-12 are required to integrate the teaching of the Holocaust into the curriculum. 

The council offers in-person and virtual workshops on a variety of topics about and related to the Holocaust. For in-person programs, the council will reimburse the substitute pay for a public school teacher to attend. The council also sponsors a number of traveling exhibits, such as the Kindertransport and Dr. Seuss exhibits. These exhibits are offered–at no cost– to teachers, schools, and public libraries The council is also able to offer a participation certificate that teachers may use to earn CEU credits for their teaching certificates.

The council has a teachers’ guide of survivor narratives that is available online for teachers to use in their classrooms. This guidebook will be updated in 2023-2024 to include links to the new curriculum resources.

Each year, the Holocaust is remembered with a national week of commemoration. The North Carolina Holocaust Commemoration features a guest speaker, presentations by public officials and local clergy, a candle-lighting ceremony, and Holocaust-related music performances. Over the years, featured speakers have included authors, video and documentary producers, professors, and Holocaust survivors.

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