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Yad Vashem Mourns the Passing of Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Joseph (Tommy) Lapid

1 June 2008

Yad Vashem mourns the passing of Joseph (Tommy) Lapid.

Lapid, a Holocaust survivor, served as Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council since July 2006. He was born in 1931 in Novi-Sad, Yugoslavia, emigrated to Israel in 1948, and became a journalist and director general of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He served for seven years in the Knesset, two of them as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice. A resident of Tel Aviv, Lapid held a law degree, and was married to the author Shlomit Lapid, and father to Yair and Merav.

At the time of his appointment as Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Lapid said: “As a refugee of the Holocaust, I regard the commemoration of the Holocaust, now and in the future, for the young and old, in Israel and abroad, a sacred duty.”

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev said today, “Memory of the Holocaust was a basic part of Tommy’s identity. As a Holocaust survivor he shared his experiences with the public, including senior visitors and international leaders. With great courage he related to them the legacy of the Holocaust, and how it is relevant to them today.”

The Yad Vashem Law (passed by the Knesset in 1953) established the Yad Vashem Council, a public body of 120 members that meets once a year. It operates alongside the Yad Vashem Directorate.

Yad Vashem sends its condolences to the entire Lapid family.