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Evening Marking Yad Vashems 50th Year to Take Place Tomorrow in the Presence of the Israeli President and PM

The Jubilee Year will Feature the Theme Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future

16 September 2003

20:30 Tuesday, September 16 - The Opening Event marking Yad Vashem’s jubilee year

Speakers at the ceremony will include: President of Israel, Moshe Katsav; PM Ariel Sharon; Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Prof. Szewach Weiss; Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem, Eli Zborowski; and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev.

Thousands of participants from Israel and abroad will attend the event-most of whom Holocaust survivors. In honor of the ceremony, hundreds of guests from 26 countries have arrived in Israel, including delegations of international Yad Vashem friends societies, and many prominent public figures, among them: government ministers, the chief Rabbis, the State Comptroller, the Diplomatic Corps, the Chairman of the World Jewish Congress and Righteous Among the Nations. During the ceremony, violinist, Shlomo Mintz, will present Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev, with a violin from the Holocaust, which was donated anonymously.

According to Shalev, “With the passage of time, as the generation of Holocaust survivors grows older, the legacy of the Holocaust is being passed on to the next generation. At the same time, a large sector of the public in Israel and worldwide is showing a renewed and growing interest in the Holocaust. The shifting of generations requires us to transmit the memory of the Holocaust using modern, innovative tools available through the information and communication technologies of the new millennium. This new era will mark Yad Vashem’s distinct ability to imbue the memory of the Holocaust with depth and meaning, so that a dialogue will grow from the past, bequeathing a legacy to strengthen commitment to Jewish continuity, protect the basic values of humankind and educate future generations.”

During the evening, renowned singer Dudu Fisher will perform “Kaddish,” a work for symphony orchestra, choir and soloist. Set to the words of the traditional Jewish prayer, “Kaddish” was composed in memory of the Holocaust victims. Fisher will be accompanied by the Philharmonia Singers and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (IBA), conducted by violinist Shlomo Mintz who will also perform a piece by Mendelssohn. The Ankor Choir will perform the piece “Here Beneath the Starry Splendor.” Singers Shlomit Aharon and Yevgeny Shapovalov will sing “Hakhnisini.” Violinist Ida Haendel will play Ernest Bloch’s “Nigun.” And author Amir Gottfreund will recite a work written specially for Yad Vashem’s jubilee year.

Yad Vashem’s jubilee year will be marked by the theme: “Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future” and will include numerous special activities and projects beginning today and ending in late 2004: The “Eternal Fund for Preserving and Perpetuating the Memory of the Holocaust” will be established in order to ensure the perpetuation of the memory of the Holocaust and preserve Yad Vashem’s ability to fulfill this mission; the uploading of the database of names of Holocaust victims to the Internet; an evening of recognition for Holocaust survivors and their families; a conference dealing with Holocaust education put on by the International School for Holocaust Studies; an international conference on: “Holocaust Research in Context: Research Centers and Approaches” hosted by the International Institute for Holocaust Research; and an evening honoring the Righteous Among the Nations.

The culmination of the jubilee year will be the opening of the new Museum Complex, which features a new Holocaust History Museum that will be three times the size of the current museum.

Media entry:

Due to security considerations, a special minibus shuttle will transport media from Mount Hertzl to Yad Vashem.

All members of the press must be at Mount Hertzl by 19:15 sharp. Anyone who arrives past 19:15 will be transported by regular bus, along with members of the public.

No private vehicles will be permitted entry to Yad Vashem.

Marked seating applies.

entry will be permitted with presentation of valid GPO card

Press cards will be checked prior to boarding the minibus

Weapons are forbidden!!

Please dress in warm clothing.