15 January 2009
Diplomats from more than 30 countries will converge at Yad Vashem, Monday, January 19, 2009 for a special event in advance of the UN-established “International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust” on January 27. The diplomats, representing, inter alia, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Norway, Nepal, Poland and the United States, will attend a cornerstone-laying ceremony for the new International Seminars Wing of the International School for Holocaust Studies. Every year, the School hosts hundreds of educators from around the world for intensive seminars on teaching about the Holocaust. In 2008, the School held some 90 seminars in Israel and abroad, in 14 languages, 63 of which took place on the Yad Vashem campus, with 1520 educators coming to Jerusalem from 48 countries. (The remainder took place in other countries.)
Addressing the diplomats will be: Dean of the Diplomatic Corps H. E. Ambassador Henri Etoundi Essomba, the principal donor Joseph Gottdenker of Canada, Dr. Steven Van Zoost, a Canadian participant of the International Winter Seminar currently taking place at Yad Vashem, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev. The event will take place at the Yad Vashem Auditorium, at 10:30, in English.
Educators from more than 15 countries (including Canada, Australia, Korea, Latvia, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, and more) currently attending seminars at Yad Vashem will also participate in the event.
Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, established in 1993, organizes educational programs for both students and educators from Israel and abroad. With over 50,000 square feet of added space, the new Wing is being built to meet the ever-growing interest in the Holocaust and the many requests from educators to study at Yad Vashem and explore ways to grapple with the challenges they face in Holocaust education.
The new International Seminars Wing is being established through the generous support of Joseph Gottdenker, of Canada and Friends of Yad Vashem worldwide. The new Edmond J. Safra Lecture Hall, in the International Seminars Wing, is endowed by the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation.
Contact: Estee Yaari / Foreign Media Liaison / Yad Vashem