In a new and controversial decision, the Ministry of Education will not require students to learn about or be tested on the Holocaust this year. The Education Ministry has decided that, as a temporary measure, students will not be required to be tested on Holocaust education in their final exams, and the portion of the exam dealing with the subject will be voluntary.

According to Kan, the decision is based on numerous messages from professionals in the field, who claimed that dealing with the subject would create significant emotional and psychological difficulties for the students.

The ‘Nitzcha Haruach’ (Victory of the Spirit) project, which arranged virtual reality presentations of the Holocaust, commented: “The October 7th massacre cannot be allowed to obscure the industrial scale of the murders that led to the deaths of one-third of the Jewish people in Europe.”

“As the ones who have become agents of remembrance, we believe that Holocaust studies are an inseparable part of our Jewish and Israeli identity, and we cannot wave recognition of such a painful and important part of Jewish history. For the last few months, as partners in various projects to memorialize the October 7th massacre, we have been exposed to various horrors, and we still believe that Holocaust Education is mandatory, as a responsibility to the murdered and to those who survived and live among us.”

“We are aware of the difficulties that many have in coping with the events, and call on the Ministry of Education to create personalized maps of those who have difficulties and provide them with professional assistance. It would not be right that the rest of the students miss out on Holocaust education, without minimizing the October 7th massacre.” The project also noted that it had made a virtual reality tour of towns near Gaza as a public diplomacy tool, in connection with government ministries.

Education Minister Yoav Kisch ordered the decision suspended pending further clarification. “A supervisor of the history department requested to allow students to choose not to be tested on that section and their final exams for this school year. In light of the sensitivity of the matter, the education minister ordered the decision suspended and investigated,” his office commented.

Israeli law mandates Holocaust education for all students in the public school system. The Ministry commented that the decision had been made in light of the October 7th massacre.

Aryeh Barnea, the director of the Amcha (Your Nation) nonprofit that provides social and psychological support for Holocaust survivors, declared the decision a serious mistake. "Students from the Gaza border region deserve every possible consideration, but this is a serious mistake. The message this sends to Holocaust survivors is ‘You’ve talked enough.'"

The controversy over the comparison between the Holocaust and the October 7th massacre has spread through Israel in recent weeks. It has drawn conflicting views from such individuals as Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan, who wore a yellow Star of David to the General Assembly; Yad Vashem director Dani Dayan, who denounced Erdan’s step in an interview with Arutz Sheva- Israel National News; Elon Musk, who called to let each event stand by itself; and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, who recently began a campaign declaring that the Holocaust had happened again, led by a woman who had survived both the Holocaust and the October 7th massacre.