11 April 2007
The central theme for this year’s Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day is Bearing Witness.
The Official Opening Ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day will take place on Sunday, April 15, at 20:00, at the Warsaw Ghetto Square, Yad Vashem, Har Hazikaron, Jerusalem.
Israel’s Acting President Dalia Itzik and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will address the participants. Avner Shalev, Yad Vashem Chairman, will kindle the Memorial Torch. Joseph (Tommy( Lapid, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, will speak on behalf of the survivors.
During the ceremony, six torches will be lit by Holocaust survivors. First torch: Zanne Farbstein; second torch: Mordechai (Motke) Wiesel; third torch: Yaacov (Jacki) Handeli; fourth torch: David Gur; fifth torch: Miriam (Manya) Brodeski-Titelman; sixth torch: Ya’akov Janek Hollaender. During the ceremony, short videos of the torchlighters’ testimonies will be shown (produced and directed by Shlomo Chazan).
The official memorial service will take place during the ceremony. The Rishon Lezion Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Amar will recite Psalms. The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yonah Metzger, will recite Kaddish. El Ma’aleh Rahamim will be recited by Cantor Asher Hainowitz.
Participants in the ceremony include singer Amir Ben-Ayoun and the Bat-Kol Choir, conducted by Anat Moragas well as the IDF Paratrooper’s Honor Guard. Narrative pieces: Dror Keren. The evening’s MC will be Yona Elian.
The ceremony will be broadcast live on television on Channels 1, 2, 10 and 33 and by radio on Kol Israel and Galei Zahal. It will last about one hour.
After the ceremony, at 22:00, there will be a symposium in the auditorium at Yad Vashem entitled “And You Shall Tell Your Children—The Story of the Shoah Between History and Remembrance,” moderated by Ehud Graf, with the participation of Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Rabbi Dr. Benny Lau, the poetess Agi Mishol, Ronal Fisher, Adv. and Chairman of Yad Vashem Avner Shalev. Singer Kobi “Subliminal” Shimoni and violinist Miri Ben-Ari will perform a new composition “Adon Olam – Ad Matai.” The two-hour discussion is open to the public and will be broadcast live on Galei Zahal radio.
Yad Vashem continues to collect video testimonies from Holocaust survivors in their homes, and urges all survivors to contact Yad Vashem so that a session may be arranged. Yad Vashem also urges the public to submit Pages of Testimony in memory of victims of the Shoah that have not yet been memorialized in the Central Database of Shoah Victims’ Names. Names may be submitted online at www.yadvashem.org, where the Names Database is accessible in Hebrew, English and Russian.
Information on Holocaust Remembrance Day, as well as on-line exhibits, educational materials, video testimony and more is available at www.yadvashem.org.