On Sunday morning, April 11, 2010, the eve of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, a symposium was held at Yad Vashem for the IDF General Staff Forum, headed by Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. The symposium focused on the topic “The Interrelationship between Community and State” and was attended by Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev. The symposium included lectures, discussions, a guided tour of the Valley of the Communities accompanied by Holocaust survivor Shmulik Shilo, and a memorial ceremony.
A memorial ceremony with Chief of Staff Ashkenazi and the General Staff Forum was held in the Valley of the Communities by the names of the Bulgarian communities inscribed on the wall. Major General Amos Yadlin, head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, recited the Yizkor memorial prayer, and Lt. General Ashkenazi spoke in front of the name of the city, the community in which his father was born. Ashkenazi described the rescue of his father along with the other Bulgarian Jews, his father’s immigration to Eretz Israel, subsequent participation in the War of Independence, and his participation in the founding of Moshav Chagor.