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Chairman of Yad Vashem Directorate to Lead Delegation at Cornerstone Ceremony for New Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Ukraine

Avner Shalev to Lead International Delegation of Memorial Museums, Ghetto Prisoners, and War Veterans - Facility is First of Its Kind in Former USSR

28 October 2003

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev, will lead an international delegation of representatives of memorial museums, ghetto prisoners, and war veterans at a ceremony marking the laying of the cornerstone of the Tkuma Holocaust Memorial Museum in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine. The ceremony will take place tomorrow at 5:00 PM.

The Tkuma (revival in Hebrew) Holocaust Memorial Museum will be the first of its kind in the Former Soviet Union. It will be dedicated to promoting awareness of Holocaust history, supporting inter-ethnic tolerance, and reducing antisemitism in Ukraine through education, research, and the creation of a major Holocaust memorial. The Tkuma organization’s academic staff performs extensive archive and field research in an ongoing effort to uncover the history of the genocide of Jews in Ukraine, which it says was largely hidden during the Soviet era. To date, Tkuma has taught Holocaust educational seminars for Jewish and non-Jewish college instructors and schoolteachers; delivered lectures in public institutions; and published reports, a newsletter, and an academic journal about the Holocaust in Ukraine. Tkuma has also been commissioned by European Union and Ukrainian authorities to establish a Jewish history and Holocaust awareness curriculum for all public schools in Ukraine.

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev, said, “I congratulate the founders of the Tkuma Holocaust Memorial Museum. Since Holocaust remembrance is an important part of Jewish identity on both the collective and individual levels, the establishment of the Museum reflects the desire of the renewed Jewish community in Ukraine to connect with its roots and heritage.”

Shalev added, “As a Holocaust remembrance institution marking the 50th anniversary of its foundation, Yad Vashem would be pleased to cooperate with the new Tkuma Holocaust Memorial Museum.” Other delegations attending the ceremony will include Ukrainian government officials; Israeli government leaders; the Embassy of the United States to Ukraine; the Joint Distribution Committee; the Dnepropetrovsk Jewish community; and rabbinical leaders.