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Worldwide Friends of Yad Vashem

Christian Friends of Yad Vashem

International Christian Leadership Seminar on Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Israel

Dates:  May 1 – May 10, 2016

May 1 is the date of arrival. Participants are free to fly home on May 10. Participants' hotel stay is provided by Yad Vashem between May 1 – May 10, 2016.

Place: Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, ICEJ
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, ICEJ USA Branch
The Museum of The Bible, Washington DC

The Course:
The Holocaust is a defining event in human history, which generated a credibility crisis of major proportions in our most basic assumptions about the nature of mankind, of society, of the modern state, and of our responsibility as individuals to take a stand against unjust suffering of innocent people everywhere.  These universal questions, and many others, touch upon the very foundations of civilization and even now, over sixty years since the end of World War II, we have not yet come to terms with the implications of this event.  The Holocaust has therefore become a compelling challenge for concerned individuals all over the world.

Yad Vashem is best placed to help these committed individuals to meet this challenge in an open, honest, and professional environment.  Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies is offering senior pastors and ministry leaders a unique educational experience.  During a weeklong seminar in Israel the select group of participants will experience world-class lectures, moving Holocaust survivor testimonies and an introduction to Israel through trips to key sites and monuments. (See appendix 1). Special emphasis will be placed on Christian theology as background to modern anti-Semitism. The language of instruction will be English.

The week of the seminar includes Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Memorial Day, which enables the participants to experience this unique event at Yad Vashem.

Application process:
Applicants are invited to send in their application form. A Committee will select the participants according to established procedures. Upon receiving the letter of acceptance the participants are expected to pay a non-refundable fee of $ 500 to confirm their participation.

Application deadline:
January 31, 2016

Notification of acceptance:
February 10, 2016

Participants are expected to be Christian leaders (pastors, Ministry leaders, prayer group hosts etc.), who will be using the knowledge gained during the seminar to connect their communities and ministries with Holocaust remembrance and education. Course participants are expected to attend all the sessions and to actively participate in the exercises and discussions. Following the course, it is anticipated that participants will host a Christian Friends of Yad Vashem event at their church or community. This is not a seminar for educators. The seminar is not open to spouses nor is it offered for auditing.

Course participants are expected to attend all the sessions and to actively participate in the exercises and discussions. Following the course, participants are expected to host a Christian Friends of Yad Vashem event at their church or community.

All selected participants will receive a scholarship covering course fee, field trips, hotel and meals. The scholarship does not cover round-trip travel from the participants' country of origin, travel to/from airports nor medical insurance.

Application form:

Mail application to the contact address below:
Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, Director, Christian Friend of Yad Vashem
International Relations Division
POB 3477
91034 Jerusalem Israel
Fax. +972 2 644 3429

Appendix 1 – Seminars at Yad Vashem

The seminars consist of several components:

  1. Academic lectures by leading scholars and researchers, enabling educators to expand their knowledge of the history of the Holocaust. Special emphasis is given to broadening the participants’ knowledge of Judaism and to the discussion about Jewish responses under Nazi rule. The program focuses on the implications of the Holocaust on the Christian world and on western society. Time will be devoted to a discussion and analysis of the shaping of Holocaust memory especially within the Christian context. Enhancing awareness to the impact of each society’s identity and self-understanding on its interpretation of the past will facilitate genuine dialogue and a mutual understanding of other society’s narratives.
  2. Survivor testimonies: The seminars include meetings with Holocaust survivors and discussions about the use of testimonies in Holocaust teaching. These meetings lend an experiential dimension to the seminars, and contribute to enhance the educators’ commitment to teaching the Holocaust.
  3. Israel and Israeli society: The participants also go on some tours of Jerusalem.
  4. The special pilot program starts with a full day of Bible and theology related lectures before the program at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies starts. 
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