Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, accepts the Israel Prize on behalf of Yad Vashem 7/05/2003. LTR: Limor Livnat, Minister of Education, Ariel Sharon, Prime Minister of Israel, and Moshe Katsav, President of the State of Israel
23 March 2003
Yad Vashem was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement – A Unique Contribution to Society and to the State. The declaration was made yesterday by Minister of Education, Limor Livnat stating that on the eve of its 50th year, Yad Vashem “represents a symbol and a model of the unity of the Jewish people…it attracts all sections of the population and serves as a source of identification for individuals in Israel and worldwide.” The award will be presented at a special state ceremony on Israel’s Independence Day in Jerusalem.
Israel Prize judges noted, “Throughout the years, Yad Vashem has developed and augmented its functions so that today it encompasses fundamental, spiritual assets of the Jewish people, including Holocaust documentation, research and education.” Unique aspects, such as collection of testimony, gathering of names in the Hall of Names, advancement and publication of Holocaust research, and recognition of the Righteous Among the Nations, were also highlighted. Special mention was also given to the importance of Yad Vashem’s educational activities, “Yad Vashem plays a leading role in Holocaust education in cooperation with the formal educational system, youth movements, the IDF and others.”
The Israel Prize is the most prestigious award granted by the State of Israel. Awards are granted in the following categories: Judaism, Humanities and the Social Sciences; Life and Exact Sciences; Arts and Culture; and Lifetime Achievement – A Unique Contribution to Society and to the State. Past recipients of the Israel Prize include: Martin Buber (1958), Golda Meir (1975), Abba Eban (2001), and the Jewish National Fund (JNF, 2002).