ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As many celebrate Rosh Hashanah this weekend, the Jewish New Year, there's concern over a survey released this past week on the Holocaust.
The survey by the "Claims Conference," shows that young adults lack some basic knowledge about the Holocaust and how many Jews were killed.
Spectrum Bay News 9's Tim Wronka spoke to officials at the Florida Holocaust Museam in St. Petersburg about the survey and how they're expanding education efforts.
"I think surveys like this are alarming and a good reminder and wake up call to all of us," Executive Director Elizabeth Gelman said.
The survey found that more than 60 percent who answered didn't know that 6 million Jews were murdered.
Florida was one of the lowest scoring states in the country. It's one reason the museum is about to unveil what they call "virtual teaching trunks."
Like physical trunks full of material, it will allow students to explore the museums' collection virtually. Teachers, students, and virtual visitors will get to interact with and learn from the museums' resources — 20,000 objects, artifacts, and works of art.
The Florida legislature recently passed a Holocaust education bill that would standardize curriculum across the state.
South Florida Senator Lauren Book, who sponsored the bill, said it's not just about the facts of the Holocaust, but what caused it.
"Also, how those things happened. Not to be a bystander. When you see something, say something. Making sure when there is wrongdoing, somebody is standing up that they don't wait for somebody else to say something," she said.
Gelman said the museum has a great relationship with local schools and looks forward to now expanding on that.
"We know that great efforts to educate our students, and the importance of the Holocaust, and its lessons, that they are happening here. Of course, there’s still much work that needs to be done," she said.
The museum is launching their new virtual programs on November 9, which is the anniversary of Kristallnacht in Germany. It's also the beginning of the new Holocaust Education Week in Florida.