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New Center to Support Student Visits to Yad Vashem

The David and Fela Shapell Family Shoah and Heroism Study Center for Youth to Facilitate Holocaust Study for Hundreds of High School Classes from Across Israel and Abroad

3 April 2006

In an effort to ensure that every Israeli high school student visits Yad Vashem as part of their study of the Holocaust, the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem is implementing a new project, “Youth Studying the Shoah” at the initiation of the David and Fela Shapell Family Foundation. The newly established David and Fela Shapell Family Shoah and Heroism Study Center for Youth will facilitate Holocaust study for thousands of young people from Israel and abroad.

The Center will enable intense, full-day seminars for some ten thousand Israeli 11th graders annually as well as to Jewish students from abroad participating in the “March of the Living” and “birthright israel” programs. Through the study of Jewish heroism -- both spiritual and physical -- during the Shoah, the Center presents the Holocaust not merely as an historical episode to be taught but rather as an event that challenges students to strengthen their commitment to universal values, to the Jewish people and to Jewish continuity.

The Center will make it possible for students from the periphery in Israel to complement their Holocaust studies with seminars at Yad Vashem. Thus far 32 cities have been chosen for the Youth Studying Shoah project, based on socio-economic criteria, as well as their distance from Jerusalem. Among the cities that will participate in the project are Be’er Sheva, Arad, Ofakim, Dimona, Ohr Yehuda, Kiryat Yam, Zarzir, Zfat and others.

Visits to Yad Vashem are an integral part of Israeli students’ education. The project’s goal is to ensure that everyone is able to participate regardless of financial considerations.