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New Appointments at Yad Vashem

30 June 2011

Prof. Dan Michman has been appointed Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair in Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, succeeding the late Prof. David Bankier. Prof. Dina Porat has been appointed Chief Historian of Yad Vashem, succeeding Prof. Dan Michman. Prof. Porat’s appointment takes effect in October 2011.

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said, “I am confident that the Institute, under the new leadership of Profs. Michman and Porat, and Yad Vashem at large, will continue to be a hub of open and profound dialogue and research about all aspects of the Holocaust. Profs. Michman and Porat will advance cutting edge research into the questions that are still to be explored in our understanding of the events of the Holocaust.”

Dan Michman has been a professor of Modern Jewish History and Chair of the Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the Abraham and Edita Speiegel and the Pynhas Brener Chairs in the History of the Holocaust at Bar Ilan university since 1983. Prof. Michman has been the chief historian of Yad Vashem since 2000. He also taught as a professor at the Universities of Amsterdam and Toronto. He has published many books and articles that have been translated into numerous languages. His writing deals primarily with a variety of aspects of Holocaust research such as: historiography, Jewish refugees and immigration, religious life, the emergence of the ghettos, the Jewish Councils (Judenräte) and Jewish leadership, resistance, Western Europe, the survivors and the legacy and memory of the Shoah in the Jewish world and in Israel; he also published on the history of the Jews in The Netherlands and Belgium.

Dina Porat has been a member of a number of major committees at Yad Vashem since 1984. She is head of the Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and holds the Alfred P. Slaner Chair for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, and served as head of the Department of Jewish History, head of the Chaim Rosenberg School for Jewish Studies, head of The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism, all in Tel Aviv University, and replaced Prof. Yehuda Bauer as academic advisor for the ITF (International Task Force on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research). She has also been a research fellow and visiting professor in prestigious universities and research centers in Israel and abroad, and published extensively on the Holocaust and on antisemitism. Most notable among her publications are a biography of Abba Kovner, the Kovno Ghetto diary, and Smoke -Smelling Morning Coffee.

The International Institute for Holocaust Research was established in Yad Vashem in 1993,due to increased international interest in the Holocaust, and the desire to encourage and support worldwide scholarly research on the Holocaust and related topics. The Institute is active in the development and coordination of International research; the planning and undertaking of scholarly projects; the organization of symposia, conferences, and seminars; the fostering of cooperative projects among research institutions; financial and academic support for scholars and students of the Holocaust; offering MA, PhD and postdoctoral fellowships; and publishing academic research, documentation, conference anthologies, diaries, memoirs, and albums about the Holocaust.