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"All of Israel are Responsible for One Another"?

International Research Conference Opens Monday at Yad Vashem

10 December 2014

The Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research will host an international conference from December 15, 2014 to Thursday, December 18, 2014. The conference, entitled "All of Israel are Responsible for One Another”? will feature researchers, historians and leading experts from all over the world, including Israel, Italy, Sweden, Austria, U.S.A., Germany and Canada. They will present lectures on various topics, including solidarity, mutual help, animosity and tensions within Jewish society in Nazi Europe. The conference is taking place with the generous support of the Gertner Center for International Holocaust Conferences and the Gutwirth Family Fund. The conference proceedings will be held in the Constantiner Lecture Hall at the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies, with simultaneous translation in Hebrew and English.

“The conference addresses important and challenging issues, and raises central questions relating to coping mechanisms of the individual and the community in various situations during the Holocaust,” said Director of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Dr. Iael Nidam-Orvieto. “It will raise questions about the lack of, or existence of Jewish solidarity, explore conventional wisdom, and offer different types of reactions and coping vis-a-vis times of extreme crisis – from organized rescue through hostility and division.”

The opening session will take place on Monday, December 15, 2014 at 16:00, with remarks from Prof. Dan Michman, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research and Incumbent of the John Najmann Chair for Holocaust Studies. Also addressing the opening session: Yad Vashem Director General Dorit Novak, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and Yad Vashem Chief Historian Dina Porat. Prof. David Engel, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor of Holocaust Studies and Chair of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, will present the opening keynote address, entitled "On Jewish Solidarity in Modern Times: What Might the Experience of the Holocaust Reveal about Modern Jewish History?"

Other topics to be addressed during the conference include families in East European ghettos confronting starvation, deportation and murder; revenge and justice in the prewar concentration camps; and leadership and alternative leadership in the Kovno ghetto and Jewish communications during the Holocaust. The full program is attached.

The concluding session will take place on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 13:00, with remarks from Prof. Michman and a keynote address by Prof. Steven Katz, Boston University, USA on "Kol Yisrael Arevim: Interpreting the Concept of Jewish Solidarity."

The Yad Vashem International Institute for Holocaust Research, established in 1993, 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 in the Holocaust; offering MA, PhD and postdoctoral fellowships; and publishing academic research, documentation, conference anthologies, diaries, memoirs and albums about the Holocaust.