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The Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Project

Yad Vashem’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Programs

Yad Vashem offers two Bar/Bat Mitzvah programs to enrich your child’s coming of age experience by memorializing a victim of the Holocaust who did not have the privilege of such a celebration.

1. Twinning

Yad Vashem will provide the name of a Holocaust victim who was murdered before Bar/Bat Mitzvah age and who the family feels the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child could most relate to. This may be a child with the same name or birthday as the child celebrating, or someone who came from the same town or area where their family originated.

The family will receive the Page of Testimony of the child who they have chosen to remember on the Bar/Bat Mitzvah day, and a certificate from Yad Vashem acknowledging their participation in this program.

Family members are encouraged to use the Page of Testimony to learn as much as they can about the history of the child who they are commemorating. To facilitate this, we send a small study guide to all participants in the program, detailing a list of resources on the Yad Vashem website, other websites, and books easily found in most libraries.

While there is no charge for this program, participants are invited to send Yad Vashem a contribution, which will be used to help fund our continuing efforts to gather and digitize the names of Holocaust victims.

To participate in the program, please contact Zvi Bernhardt at least two months before the event at:, Fax: 972-2-6443579

2. Bar/Bat Mitzvah Experience at Yad Vashem

This program combines the “Twinning” program with a guided visit to Yad Vashem. To participate, the family must complete the twinning program and visit Yad Vashem in Israel.

At Yad Vashem, they will be taken on a private tour tailored to fit their specific requirements, which take the ages of the children, family history, and the interests of the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child into account. The tour will conclude with a visit to the Hall of Names, where the Bar/Bat Mitzvah child is introduced to the Central Database of Shoah Victim’s Names, and is given a certificate acknowledging participation in the program, with the details of the Holocaust victim who they have chosen to commemorate.

This program has a nominal fee for research preparing the certificate and the cost of the guided tour at Yad Vashem. Further contributions are welcome to ensure the future of Holocaust Remembrance at Yad Vashem.

To participate in this program, please contact Idit Sapirshtein, Visits coordinator, Guiding Department, Commemoration and Public Relations Division, at least three weeks before the event at:

Here’s what participants have said about the programs:

“My twinning project is in memory of a girl named Fania Malmatz, aged 12, who was killed by the Germans in the Holocaust... I like this idea because I feel I am doing this Bat Mitzvah not only for myself but also for Fania. I also feel that she will be with me during the service and because of our shared experience for the rest of my life; I shall never forget her.“

“All the guests at Zane's Bar Mitzvah thought his twinning was a beautiful idea. It meant so much to our family.

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