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Chapter Officers embers at Large

Council Member Ryan Spiegel Town Manager
City of Gaithersburg Jana Coe
President Town of Che y Chase View

Councilmember Marnie Shaul Council Member
Town of Somerset Virginia Onley
Vice President City of Rockville

Manager Julian Mansfield Mayor
Village of Friendship Heights Joli McCathran
Treasurer Maryland unicipal League Town of Washington Grove
Montgomery County Chapter
Legislative Affairs Manager Councilmember
Monica Marquina Jarrett K. Smith
City of Gaithersburg City of Takoma Park
Secretary

April 12,2017
Dr. Jack R. Smith
Superintendent
Montgomery County Public Schools
850 Hungerford Drive
Rockville, Maryland 20850

Dear Superintendent Smith:

In light of the substantial recent increase in anti-Semitic threats and incidents, both
within our county and around our nation, and in the wake of several recent comments by
high-ranking public officials that seem to indicate a grave misunderstanding and/or a striking
ignorance of the facts and the historical significance of the Holocaust, I write to respectfully
request a detailed briefing from Montgomery County Public Schools ( MCPS ) officials
regarding the scope and status of the Holocaust curriculum in MCPS schools.

As someone whose extended family suffered unspeakable losses in the Holocaust, I
am particularly attuned to this important issue, but it should not just be a matter for Jews or
for descendants of the victims of Nazi atrocities. It should be something that we should be
making sure is taught broadly and deeply, in age-appropriate and context-appropriate ways,
to every student in every school. That is the only way to ensure that the commitment to
never forget is truly made real, and to instill in future generations core values such as
compassion, tolerance, and justice that rose from the ashes of the Holocaust.

This week, Jews around our region and around the world observe the holiday of
Passover, retelling the archetypal story of liberation from bondage. And just days from now,
on April 24, we will commemorate Yom HaShoah, the official Holocaust Remembrance
Day. It is a fitting time to be asking, in light of current events, where the educational
institutions in our communities stand on the matter of Holocaust education.

Please address correspondence to the MWIL Montgomery County Chapter in care of
Pres. Ryan Spiegel, 31 S Summit Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
April 13,2017
Dr. Jack R. Smith
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As you well know, the Holocaust is not a matter of religious education. It is a matter
of human history. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is critical that our children learn the truth
about what happened during that horrific and defining 20th century event, and that they come
to appreciate the context and meaning of the Holocaust, its relationship to other events -
including other genocides and atrocities throughout the world - and the application of its
lessons to our lives today and in the future.

As president of the Montgomery County Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League,
which represents all 19 municipalities and two special taxing districts in the county, I
sincerely hope that you will grant this request and arrange for a thorough briefing on this
matter. While municipal governments do not operate schools, we are proud of our close
working relationship with MCPS and take a keen interest in important issues. I believe it is
appropriate for municipal leaders to speak about this issue, learn from MCPS officials, and
work together to help ensure the right outcome for our students and our communities.

I greatly appreciate your attention to this matter and all that you do for our students.
Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

President, Montgomery County Chapter of MML
Councilmember, City of Gaithersb rg

cc: Board of Education