Friends  |  Press Room  |  Contact Us

Press Room

Next Week Yad Vashem Opens its Jubilee Year

Throughout the year new projects and activities will be held to commemorate the Holocaust today and into the future

11 September 2003

A declaration of the opening of the jubilee year, with the theme “Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future,” will take place on Tuesday, September 16th, 2003 in an official ceremony with the participation of President of Israel, Moshe Katsav and Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

Projects and activities that will take place during the year include:

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.

Schedule of events for next week:

17:00 Sunday, September 14 - Inauguration of the Book and Resource Center

The event will take place in the presence of Minister of Justice, Yosef (Tommy) Lapid MK, the building’s architect and donor David Azrieli, and the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev. Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Yonah Metzger will place the mezuzah in the entrance to the building. The ceremony will take place in the Book and Resource Center, next to the new Visitors’ Center.

11:00 Monday, September 15 - Inaugural ceremony for jubilee stamps

In order to mark Yad Vashem’s 50th year, the Israel Philatelic Service will issue two stamps at an official ceremony at the Knesset in the presence of Speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin MK, Yad Vashem Directorate member Dov Shilansky, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Prof. Szewach Weiss.

19:00 Monday, September 15 - Reception for International Friends Delegations

A reception for delegations from 26 countries that came to participate in Yad Vashem’s jubilee events will take place in the Valley of the Communities. Participants in the reception include: Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Tzipi Livni, Mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, Abraham Hirchson MK, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Prof. Szewach Weiss, Chairman of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel Noah Flug, and representatives of the delegations.

20:30 Tuesday, September 16 - Declaration of the opening

of the jubilee year in the presence of President of Israel, Moshe Katsav; PM Ariel Sharon; Speaker of the Knesset, Reuven Rivlin MK; 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 will attend the event including Holocaust survivors from Israel and abroad, delegations of international Yad Vashem friends societies, and many prominent public figures. Renowned singer, Dudu Fisher, will perform the piece “Kaddish” based on the words of the traditional Jewish prayer. He will be accompanied by the Philharmonic Choir and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra IBA, conducted by violinist, Shlomo Mintz who will also perform a piece. The program will also include: singers Shlomit Aharon and Yevgeny Shapovalov, violinist Ida Haendel and the Ankor Choir. A work written specially for Yad Vashem’s jubilee year by author Amir Gottfreund will be recited.

10:00 Wednesday, September 17 - Inauguration Ceremony for the Partisans’ Panorama with the participation of Maj.-Gen. Moshe (Bugi) Ya’alon

The Partisans’ Panorama is being established in as a tribute to the Jewish fighters who fought within partisan ranks. A statue created by sculptor Zadok Ben-David will be situated in the panorama’s center. Participating in the ceremony will be members of the Karten family who donated the Partisans’ Panorama.

17:00 Wednesday, September 17 - Reception for the Signing of The Declaration of Remembrance at the President’s Residence

The declaration is a written pledge ensuring the continued existence of Holocaust remembrance in our generation and those that follow. The declaration will be signed by Israeli heads of state and Jewish leaders from Israel and abroad. Ceremony participants include: President of the State of Israel, Moshe Katsav; Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress and President of the Claims Conference, Dr. Israel Singer; President of the French Fondation pour la Mèmoire de la Shoah, Simone Veil; former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau; Academic Advisor to Yad Vashem and Holocaust survivor, Prof. Israel Gutman; Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Prof. Szewach Weiss; and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Avner Shalev.