Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett addresses the closing event of the Yad Vashem Leadership Mission in the Valley of the Communities, Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev in the Valley of the Communities at Yad Vashem for the closing event of the Yad Vashem Leadership Mission
Yad Vashem Director General Dorit Novak, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev and Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem Leonard Wilf
13 July 2016
Yesterday, the Yad Vashem 2016 Leadership Mission concluded. The weeklong Mission spent a few days in Poland before journeying to Israel, where the participants – friends and supporters of Yad Vashem – were exposed behind-the-scenes to the everyday work of the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
At an emotional closing event in Yad Vashem's Valley of the Communities, Minister of Education Naftali Bennett remarked that the fate of the Jewish people rests with the younger generation, and that "Yad Vashem is shaping the future of Holocaust remembrance." This sentiment was echoed by Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, who praised the Young Leadership component of the Mission for taking initiative and interest in Holocaust remembrance and education: "Yad Vashem's is committed to a future in which Holocaust remembrance remains relevant and the continuation of meaningful commemoration of the Holocaust is guaranteed for generations to come – and you are that future."
Participants in the Mission comprised many of Yad Vashem's steadfast supporters, including Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem Leonard Wilf and Chairman of the American Society's Young Leadership Association Barry Levine, as well as long-standing friends Colin and Gail Halpern and Mark Moskowitz. Mr. Moskowitz, a second-generation Holocaust survivor, reflected on the importance of ensuring Yad Vashem's efforts for the future. He recalled a tradition his parents observed, and one that he continues to maintain, of spending Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem. However, Mr. Moskowitz pointed out, Yad Vashem is not just a memorial for the Holocaust: "Yad Vashem is determined to document the identity and restore the humanity of each of the victims and survivors, by connecting fragments of information from its unrivalled repositories of documents, photographs, artefacts and testimonies." Members of the Mission left with an even deeper understanding and appreciation of the far-reaching scope of Yad Vashem as the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.
The closing event also featured performances by world renowned Israeli singers Nathan Dattner and Roni Daloomi, as well as international Broadway sensation Dudu Fisher. Additionally, there was a special guest performance by the Shmuel Gogol Children's Harmonica Orchestra.