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Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev at the Cabinet meeting today: 'Alongside increasig antisemitism over the past month, we are witness to an ever-increasing worldwide interest in the Holocaust. Paradoxically, these two phenomena exist side by side; thousands of graduates of Yad Vashem seminars create a buffer against the abuse of the Holocaust.'

Events Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, to address official UN event marking fourth 'International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust'

25 January 2009

Today, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev participated in a special Cabinet session addressing a report on antisemitism that was presented at the session. Alongside increasing antisemitism over the past month, we are witness to an ever-increasing worldwide interest in the Holocaust. This is evident in all the areas in which Yad Vashem is active. The activities of Yad Vashems International School for Holocaust Studies reached a peak in 2008 with educators, policy-makers and religious leaders from 48 different countries taking part in close to 100 international seminars, reported Shalev.

Shalev added that the more than 8 million visitors to Yad Vashems Internet site at www.yadvashem.org are an additional indicator of heightened interest in the Shoah. This is compared to 3.3 million in 2005 and almost 7 million in 2007. He noted that while paradoxically these two phenomena exist side by side, the graduates of Yad Vashems seminars around the world, create a basis for opposition to the distorted use of the Holocaust and serve as a buffer against this trend.

Events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day:

  • January 27, 2009, at 10:00 in New York
    Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, will address the official UN event marking the fourth International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The theme of the Holocaust memorial ceremony is An Authentic Basis for Hope: Holocaust Remembrance and Education and Rabbi Lau will be the keynote speaker. Statements will be made by H.E. Mr. Miguel dEscoto Brockmann, President of the 63 rd session of the UN General Assembly, H.E. Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN, Holocaust survivor Ruth Glasberg Gold, and WWII veteran Leonid Rosenberg.

  • January 27, 2009, in Madrid, Spain
    Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos will launch Yad Vashems new Spanish website at the Palace de Viana in Madrid. The website will contain extensive material about the Holocaust in Spanish.

  • January 27, 10:30 in Ramle
    BESA: A Code of Honor - Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust, will open at the Municipal Museum in city of Ramle. The photographic exhibition, with Hebrew and Arabic subtitles, will open with the participation of Arab students from Ramle, Mayor of Ramle Yoel Lavi, and Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev.

  • January 27, 14:30 at Yad Vashem
    The World Jewish Congress will hold a special plenary session at Yad Vashem. WJC President Ronald Lauder, and President of the European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor will join hundreds of participants in the session which will include a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance.

  • January 27, 10:30 in Geneva
    At the European Center of the United Nations in Geneva, Shulamit Imber, Pedagogical Director at Yad Vashems International School for Holocaust Studies, alongside Director General of the UN Office in Geneva Sergei Ordzhonikidze, will address some 1,000 participants in a special ceremony.

  • Yad Vashem Exhibitions Marking January 27 around the world:
    The Auschwitz Album at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles; The BESA exhibition in New York at the Columbia University's School for International Relations, Auschwitz: From the Depth of the Abyss at the Headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels. The "No Childs Play" traveling exhibition in City Hall in Linz, Austria; An Arduous Road: Samuel Bak - 60 Years of Creativity at the University of Mainz, Germany; and Private Tolkatchev at the Gates of Hell in the city of Neustrelitz in Germany.

  • January 27, Yad Vashem
    A new educational portal in Russian will be uploaded to Yad Vashems virtual school. The site was developed through the generous support of the Genesis Foundation, which aims to strengthen Jewish identity among Russian-speaking Jews. The site includes encyclopedic entries, photographs, testimonies, maps, diaries, historical documents and more, making pedagogical materials easily available to Russian-speaking educators and students in Israel and around the world.

  • January 27, 18:00, at Beth Hatefusoth, Tel Aviv
    Generation to Generation (Dorot Hemshech) will hold a special evening marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at Beth Hatefusoth. President of the organization Shmulik Sorek will address the gathering and Tova Leshem of the International School for Jewish Peoplehood Studies at Beth-Hatefusoth, and Ephraim Kaye of Yad Vashems International School for Holocaust Studies will speak. The Green Dumpster Mystery, winner of the 2008 Avner Shalev Yad Vashem Chairmans Award for Artistic Achievement in a Holocaust-related film, will be screened.