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Dorit Novak Appointed Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies Succeeds Dr. Motti Shalem

7 January 2007

Dorit Novak has been appointed Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, succeeding Dr. Motti Shalem, who has led the School since 1994.

The International School for Holocaust Studies, established in 1993 with the endorsement of then-Minister of Education Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, is a unique and trailblazing institution, and is a primary part of Yad Vashem’s activities. Members of staff at the International School develop teaching tools, multimedia materials, curricula, lesson plans, and didactic principles that have been used by thousands of educators around the world to teach about the Holocaust. Seminars for students and teachers from abroad take place at the School in 11 languages, and are tailored to meet their needs based on their country of origin. International School employees are also leading members in global organizations that deal with Holocaust education, and through them pass on the unique pedagogical approach developed by Yad Vashem. In addition, hundreds of thousands of students and soldiers from Israel participate annually in seminars at Yad Vashem, and the School also brings its educators into Israeli schools around the country. The School’s Internet site contains a plethora of material and annual online seminars in many languages.

During his tenure at Yad Vashem, Dr. Shalem developed the three main avenues of work of the International School: teacher training; student seminars, and the production of multilingual lesson plans and educational material. He also oversaw the establishment of the European Department, as well as expansion of the pedagogical use of the Internet through online courses and educational networks. Similarly, a number of partnerships were established with various bodies, such as the OSCE, ICHIEC, the Council of Europe, and the IDF. Dr. Shalem also initiated programs that, for the first time, brought young people from diverse backgrounds closer to the study of the Holocaust, including members of the Arab sector, the ultra-Orthodox sector and at-risk youth.

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev, praised Dr. Shalem’s work, pointing out his “fundamental contribution to the development of the International School for Holocaust Studies and its work in Israel and around the world, as well as its unique educational approach. I wish him luck and success in all his future endeavors.”

Dorit Novak holds an MA in Education. Until recently she was manager of the “welfare to work” pilot administration in the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Labor. Prior to that, she served as development and employment head of the cooperative project run by Israel’s Ministry of Trade and the Joint Distribution Committee. Novak established and ran the countrywide educational program, “Haznek”, that is today supported by Discount Bank. During her military service she served in various educational capacities, including head of the Hasbarah and culture branches.

In wishing her success in her new position, Avner Shalev said: “I am confident that Dorit’s vast experience in administering educational frameworks will contribute to her ability to lead Yad Vashem’s educational activities, supported by the dedicated staff at the School.”