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Gross Center Director Jacob Labendz Discusses Holocaust Education with NBC News

April 20, 2023

Holocaust survivors are lost with each passing day, and their first-hand stories are disappearing with them. Keeping those stories alive, particularly at a time in when anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise in the U.S., is more important now than ever.

NBC News asked Dr. Jacob Ari Labendz, director of the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey, about what can be done. “I was surrounded by survivors my whole life. We had an intimate and natural connection. Learning about the Holocaust came to us almost automatically.” With survivors aging and unable to share their stories, there is a need to find new ways to keep their stories alive for today’s children since it is increasingly difficult to learn this history in the ways it has been traditionally been taught. “We have to meet the children in the world that they are living in.”

Watch the full NBC News interview with Dr. Labendz.

Ramapo College recognizes the significance of and critical need for Holocaust and genocide studies, and supports these endeavors in the Gross Center. Teacher training programs are offered each semester for high school teachers to learn insights and methodologies for teaching Holocaust history in their classrooms. For more information about the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, visit