Representative Rita Harris (D-Orlando) yesterday presented House Bill 863, Holocaust Remembrance Day in the House Education Quality Subcommittee. The bill passed through the committee unanimously.
This legislation would have the Governor proclaim “Holocaust Remembrance Day” in Florida on January 27th each year. Classroom instruction about the Holocaust, antisemitism, and their harmful impacts on humanity would be provided as part of public educational instruction on this day or the nearest school day if Holocaust Remembrance Day falls on a weekend.
Over the past few years, Florida has experienced an alarming increase in antisemitic incidents. The Anti-Defamation League tracked over 50 incidents of antisemitism in Florida in 2022 and reported a 50% increase in antisemitic 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 antisemitism continues to negatively impact our state.
“I am happy to see bipartisan support to pass this good bill,” said Representative Harris. “We must make it clear that anti-Semitism has no refuge in Florida.”
The companion bill in the Senate, SB 832 by Senator Lori Berman (D-Boca Raton) will be heard in the Education Pre-K-12 committee on Monday, March 27th. The next committee stop for HB 863 will be the Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law & Government Operations Subcommittee.