SKOKIE - July 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that creates the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission. The commission will work with Holocaust survivors to increase public awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides through educational programs, events and outreach efforts.
“We must remember the tragedy of the Holocaust and other genocides that have occurred throughout history,” said Governor Quinn. “The Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission will remind everyone in Illinois of the horrors of genocide and ethnic cleansing, and will work towards ensuring tolerance among future generations.”
House Bill 6059, sponsored by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), creates the 18-member Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
The commission will assist Holocaust- and genocide-focused educational institutions and service organizations with public awareness efforts. It will also compile a list of Holocaust and other genocide survivors, liberators and other volunteers to share their knowledge and experiences. Additionally, the commission will coordinate events to memorialize the Holocaust and other genocides on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurring every Jan. 27.
Governor Quinn will appoint 15 members to the commission, who will be selected based on their leadership, personal experience and interest in the Holocaust or genocide education. There will be three exofficio members, which include the superintendent of the State Board of Education; the executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education; and the director of the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Members will serve four-year terms and are unpaid.
The legislation passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and takes effect Jan. 1, 2011.