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Government of Israel Calls On Jews Everywhere to Submit Pages of Testimony to Yad Vashem in Advance of the Internet Launch of the Central Database of Shoah Victims Names

5 September 2004

At its weekly meeting today, the Israeli Cabinet held a special discussion to mark 50 years since the establishment of Yad Vashem. The discussion was held at the initiative of Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Limor Livnat and with the participation of Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev.

In advance of the launch of Yad Vashem’s Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names to the Internet in the coming months, the Government of Israel calls on Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora to join the national endeavor of the Jewish people led by Yad Vashem to redeem the names of Shoah Victims. The Government calls on all Jewish people to fill out Pages of Testimony in order to provide the victims with a lasting memorial in Jerusalem.

The launch of the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names to the Internet in November is a central step in building a global database on the Shoah. With the Database’s launch to the Yad Vashem website, Yad Vashem will bolster its international Eleventh Hour Collection Project for the names of Jewish people killed in the Shoah. Yad Vashem will appeal to each Jewish household to submit all the details and information known about the victims, including pictures, and to see if the information is included in the Database and to add what is missing.

The Government noted that in 2005 Yad Vashem will complete its development plan which will bring a revolution in the institution’s ability to meet the challenges posed by the passage of time. The plan’s completion will be highlighted in March 2005 with the opening of the new Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem, the people of Israel’s expression on the Shoah for the 21st Century.

In his presentation to the Government today, Shalev remarked that the new school year has opened at the International School for Holocaust Studies. This year, some 100,000 students and youth, as well as some 50,000 soldiers and officers, are expected to participate in daylong seminars at the School. In addition some 1,000 teachers from Israel and 600 teachers from abroad will attend seminars at the School in Holocaust education.

In light of Yad Vashem’s 50th anniversary, and as a mark of its appreciation for Yad Vashem’s activities in preserving the memory of the Shoah, the Government Ministers noted their appreciation for the role that Yad Vashem plays in dealing the with basic questions that shape Jewish and Israeli identity, in the struggle against antisemitism, and in its ability to carry out the mission bestowed on it by the Jewish People.