Pictured left to right: Dana Zucker, CEO, Gray Foundation; Mindy Gray, Co-founder, Gray Foundation; Lynn Schulman, New York City Councilmember; David Banks, New York City Schools Chancellor; Julie Menin, New York City Councilmember; Eric Dinowitz, New York City Councilmember; Regina Skyer, Board of Trustees, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust; Jon Gray, Co-founder, Gray Foundation; George Klein, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust

Photo: John Halpern


Amid a rise in incidents of antisemitism in the city and across the globe, New York City Councilmember Julie Menin, the Gray Foundation’s Mindy and Jon Gray, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust , have joined forces to launch a groundbreaking Holocaust Education School Tours program for all 8th-grade students in New York City public and charter schools starting this fall. This $2.5 million initiative will provide critical education about the global history of antisemitism and propaganda, factors that precipitated the Holocaust, while fostering opportunities for students to reflect on the relevance of historical events to contemporary issues.

This program will be offered entirely free of charge to schools and builds upon the Museum’s extensive 26-year history of serving New York City and tri-state area schools through enriching exhibition tours and Holocaust education programs. The partnership will allow the Museum to serve over 85,000 public and charter school 8th graders over three years.

New York City Councilmember Julie Menin, a member of the Council’s Jewish Caucus, first proposed the idea in the aftermath of the October 7th terrorist attacks on Israel, stressing the need to educate younger generations about the Holocaust and antisemitism.The Gray Foundation, which has supported the Museum of Jewish Heritage since 2016 and supported education efforts across New York City, joined the initiative and is providing $1 million in funding.

“This initiative, born out of personal conviction and a deep sense of responsibility, aims to ensure that every young mind comprehends the history of the Holocaust and the dangers of antisemitism,” said Menin. “My hope is that through education and reflection, we can inoculate future generations against the horrors of the past.”

“As stewards of memory, it is our duty to ensure that the lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten,” said Bruce Ratner, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Over the next three years, the Museum will expand its school group tour program, prioritizing and including higher numbers of public and charter school 8th-grade students from the city. Specially trained Museum Educators will guide groups through exhibitions, including the main exhibition, The Holocaust: What Hate Can Do (which in part chronicles the historic rise in antisemitism before and during the Holocaust), and Courage to Act: Rescue in Denmark (which tells the remarkable story of the rescue of the Danish Jews during the Holocaust), facilitating meaningful discussions and providing pre- and post-tour resources for teachers to incorporate into their curriculum.

For more information on the Museum of Jewish Heritage, visit mjhnyc.org.