(April 28, 2008 - Jerusalem) A new exhibition telling the story of Holocaust survivors in the shaping of Israeli identity opened in Yad Vashem’s Exhibitions Pavilion, marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel. My Homeland: Holocaust Survivors in Israel is a multidimensional exhibition that illustrates how their influence affected all aspects of Israeli society.
The year-long exhibition opened on Monday, April 28, 2008 in the presence of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Minister of Liaison between the Government and the Knesset, and Chairperson of the Ministerial Committee for Events Marking 60 Years of Independence Ruhama Avraham Balila, Holocaust survivors, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev.
At the end of WWII, most survivors chose to focus their efforts on rebuilding their lives, and chose to do so in the Land of Israel, the land they called home. Their collective story is one of personal and human victory.
They have left their mark in every field: in building new towns, the army, industry, the economy, law and culture. Painters and graphic artists, poets and writers, athletes and dancers, academics and cultural icons-many were perceived by the public as native-born Israelis. Almost from the start, their influence went beyond the personal realm and impacted the daily life of all Israelis.
Describing the exhibit, Yehudit Shendar, the deputy director of Yad Vashem's Museums Division said: " The image of Holocaust survivors in Israel as poor and neglected is not reflective of the majority of Holocaust survivors, who became a true part of the fabric of Israel. The recent media focus on impoverished Holocaust survivors was 'not reflective' of the majority of survivors in the country, since the statistics were heavily and unduly influenced by the wave of immigration from the former Soviet Union in the '90s, many of whom were also categorized as Holocaust survivors. The exhibition is an anti-thesis to the media image of Holocaust survivors in Israel."
"My Homeland: Holocaust Survivors in Israel" is curated by Deputy Director of Yad Vashem’s Museums Division, Yehudit Shendar. Curatorial consultant: Michal Broshi; Historical Consultant: Prof. Hanna Yablonka.