(Skokie, IL) — July 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that creates the Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
“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.”
The commission will work with Holocaust survivors to increase public awareness of the Holocaust and other genocides through educational programs, events and outreach efforts.
The legislation, House Bill 6059, sponsored by State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), creates the 18-member Illinois Holocaust and Genocide Commission.
“We must institutionalize the memory of Holocaust and other genocides as a primary defense against the recurrence of these tragedies,” said Feigenholtz.
The commission will assist 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. Additionally, the commission will coordinate events to memorialize the Holocaust and other genocides on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurring every Jan. 27.
Quinn will appoint 15 members to the commission. Additionally, there will be three ex-officio 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.
In addition to Feigenholtz and Silverstein, legislative sponsors included: State Reps. Jack Franks, Sidney Mathias, Will Burns, Fred Crespo, Elizabeth Coulson, Ken Dunkin, Julie Hamos, Karen May, Elaine Nekritz, Lou Lang, Kay Hatcher and Senators Dan Rutherford, Jacqueline Collins, Jeff Schoenberg, David Koehler and Kirk Dillard.