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Pope Benedict XVI to Visit Yad Vashem Monday

7 May 2009

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Yad Vashem on Monday, May 11, 2009 at 17:45. Participating in the event will be President Shimon Peres and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin. Due to security arrangements, Yad Vashem will be closed to the public on Monday, May 11, 2009.

Similar to the visit of his predecessor Pope John Paul II in 2000, Pope Benedict XVIs visit will take place in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem, where he will participate in a memorial ceremony, deliver an address, and greet six Holocaust survivors and a Righteous Among the Nations.

Following is the schedule of the visit:

17:45: Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev will receive the Pope and escort him to the Hall of Remembrance.

17:50: President Peres and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will greet the Pope at the entrance to the Hall of Remembrance.

17:55- 18:10: Memorial Ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, with the participation of Pope Benedict XVI, President Peres, Knesset Speaker Rivlin, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Lau, and the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone. The ceremony includes:

  • A Walk to Caesarea - the Ankor Choir under the direction of Dafna Ben Yohanan
  • Rekindling of the Eternal Flame by Pope Benedict XVI
  • Reading of the Identification by MC Benny Hendel
  • Laying of the wreath by Pope Benedict XVI
  • A reading by MC Benny Hendel
  • El Maleh Rahamim, a prayer for the dead, by Cantor Asher Hainowitz

18:10-18:30:

  • The Pope will greet six Holocaust survivors: Ed Mosberg, Israela Hargil, Avraham Ashkenazi, Gita Kalderon, Dan Landsberg and Ruth Bondy, and a Righteous Among the Nations who lives in Israel, Ivan Vranetic.
  • The Pope will deliver an address, in English
  • Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Lau will present the Pope with a gift, a facsimile of a painting by Jewish artist Felix Nussbaum who was murdered in the Holocaust.
  • The Pope will sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book
  • Ani Maamin - the Ankor Choir, under the direction of Dafna Ben Yohanan

The event will take place in the presence of Holocaust survivors, Education Minister Gideon Saar, Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog, Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, Information and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, Minister Yossi Peled, Deputy Pensioner Affairs Minister Lea Nass, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

More information about the visit is available here.

Coverage of the Popes visit to Yad Vashem is by pre-arranged POOL only. The entire event will be available via live Israel Channel 1 feed (through JCS and Satlink).