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At the Opening Session of its International Conference: Yad Vashem announces the establishment of the Asper Holocaust International Studies Program

9 April 2002

On Tuesday 9th April 2002, at the opening session of the International Conference “The Legacy of Holocaust Survivors: The Moral and Ethical Implications for Humanity”, Dr. Israel Asper, Founder and President of The Asper Foundation, and Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate announced the establishment of The Asper Holocaust International Studies Program at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. The Program, which will be funded by the income from a $4 million fund set up by the Asper Foundation, will go towards the expansion of programs at the International School for Holocaust Studies including:

  • Biannual international conferences.
  • International outreach professional development and training programs for educators;
  • International seminars for educators from English-speaking countries;
  • Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (a joint venture between governments and educators dealing with Holocaust-denial, racism and xenophobia).

“The Asper Foundation is proud to play an integral role in supporting Yad Vashem, a world-renowned institution respected not only for commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, but imparting the lessons of the Holocaust and educating people worldwide to help ensure that the rally cry “Never Again” refers not only to Jews but to all peoples”, said Dr. Asper.

“With this generous gift from the Asper Foundation, Yad Vashem can continue its important task of Holocaust education, especially when the survivor generation is dwindling and the mantle of commemoration is being handed over to the next generations. Dr. Asper has demonstrated the centrality of Israel in the lives of the Jewish people and the importance of Holocaust education as a crucial component of one’s Jewish identity. The importance of this contribution to Yad Vashem cannot be understated,” added Avner Shalev

Despite the worsening situation in Israel, Asper participated in the conference together with a group of 25 members of the Winnipeg Jewish community.