Rutgers to introduce minor in Holocaust studies

<p>Jeffrey Shandler, a distinguished professor in the Department of Jewish Studies, said the program was created because of growing student interest.</p>

Jeffrey Shandler, a distinguished professor in the Department of Jewish Studies, said the program was created because of growing student interest.


Rutgers University will introduce a new minor in Holocaust studies in the Fall 2020 semester, according to an article on Rutgers Today. The program will be a part of multiple departments, including Jewish Studies, History, Sociology and German.

Jeffrey Shandler, a distinguished professor in the Department of Jewish Studies who is coordinating the minor, said the program is being created to address a growing interest among students. This interest was sparked, in part, due to a New Jersey law created in 1994 which required public schools to teach students about the Holocaust and genocide.

“This legislation emphasizes that studying the Holocaust is meant not simply to learn about an era of history but to inform students’ moral consciousness,” Shandler said, according to the article. “As a result, many students regard this as a subject of special importance and wish to understand it in greater depth.”

Shandler said the new minor coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz Liberation, according to the article. He also said the number of Holocaust survivors is dwindling each year, which will affect the way people view its history. 

“We don’t stop remembering events of the past when there is no longer any living witness, but we do remember them differently,’’ Shandler said. “One goal of the minor in Holocaust studies is to help students understand how recalling the past changes over time.”

Susan Lawrence, a School of Arts and Sciences vice dean for undergraduate education, said the program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding of the Holocaust, according to the article. 

"The hope is that through this interdisciplinary approach, they will leave Rutgers University as more informed global citizens who can continue to confront the pressing challenges of anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of intolerance in all of its forms,” Lawrence said, according to the article. 


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