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Pope Francis to Visit Yad Vashem Monday

22 May 2014

Pope Francis will visit Yad Vashem on Monday, May 26, 2014 at 10:00. Participating in the event will be President Shimon Peres, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Due to security arrangements, Yad Vashem will be closed to the public on Monday, May 26, 2014 until 12 noon.

Similar to the visit of his predecessors Pope John Paul II in 2000, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, the Pope’s 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.

The visit will be live streamed at www.yadvashem.org and more information about the visit is available in English at: www.yadvashem.org/pope/ as well as in Hebrew, Spanish and German.

Following is the schedule of the visit:

Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev will receive the Pope and escort him to the Hall of Remembrance. President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will greet the Pope at the entrance to the Hall of Remembrance.

Memorial Ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, with the participation of Pope Francis, President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Lau, and the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The ceremony includes:

· “A Walk to Caesarea” – the Ankor Choir under the direction of Dafna Ben Yohanan · Rekindling of the Eternal Flame by Pope Francis

· Reading of the Identification in Italian by Dr. Iael Nidam-Orvieto

· Laying of the wreath by Pope Francis, assisted by two young students who live in Israel, Eva Kolodkina and Hoang Huy Nguyen

· Excerpt from the last letter of Ida Goldish, who was murdered in the Holocaust, in Italian · “El Maleh Rahamim”, a prayer for the dead, by Cantor Asher Hainowitz

The Pope will greet six Holocaust survivors: Avraham Harshalom, Chava Shik, Joseph Gottdenker, Moshe Ha-Elion, Eliezer Grynfeld, and Sonia Tunik-Geron

The Pope will deliver an address, in Italian

The Pope will sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Shalev will present the Pope with a replica of the painting Prayer, created by Abraham (Abramek) Koplowicz in the Lodz ghetto. Abramek was murdered in Auschwitz at the age of 14.

“Mi Ha’Ish” (from Psalms) - the Ankor Choir, under the direction of Dafna Ben Yohanan

The event will take place in the presence of Holocaust survivors, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, and Chair of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, Collette Avital, and Yad Vashem Friends Yossie & Dana Hollander and Adrián Werthein