President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen with Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan in Brussels
25 January 2024
Today, in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, hosted its annual symposium for the International Diplomatic Corps serving in Israel. Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Israel Katz participated in the event at Yad Vashem together with the Italian Foreign Minister H.E. Antonio Tajani. More than sixty-five ambassadors attended the symposium where they heard a lecture by Yad Vashem's Echoes and Reflections Project Director Ms. Sheryl Ochayon entitled, “The Through Lines of Antisemitism, From Its Roots to the Current Day”, relating to the theme of the day; "Antisemitism: The Fate of the Jewish People?”
"Each year on Passover, Jews worldwide ask, 'Why is this night different from all other nights?'," Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan told the ambassadors that attended. "This year's International Holocaust Remembrance Day, in the wake of the attack by Hamas on October 7th, we ask why is this Holocaust Remembrance Day unlike any other. The Holocaust's does not define Jews but its impact on the Jewish psyche is profound. The echoes of October 7th remind us that 'Never Again' is a commandment we must fulfill and not just an empty cliché. As we approach the 80th anniversary of liberation in 2025, Holocaust remembrance and education remain essential to creating a more just society."
In the week, proceeding the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan visited Brussels where he met with heads of the European Union including President of the European Commission H.E. Ursula von der Leyen, European Union Vice President H.E. Margaritis Schinas and President of the European Parliament H.E. Roberta Metsola for a series of meetings discussing the importance of Holocaust remembrance. In the meeting with Von der Leyen Dayan expressed his grave concerns for the exponential rise in antisemitism worldwide and the need for actions.
"Antisemitism is not just an issue for the Jewish people alone. It must be on top of the global agenda, for if left unchecked it will eventually affect Europe and the world in general and therefore requires immediate and decisive action," Dayan told the leaders.
While in Brussels Yad Vashem Chairman Dayan participated in an EU Working Group meeting addressing the implantation of the EU Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and fostering Jewish life in Europe. Dayan also attended an event headed by the Deputy Secretary General of NATO Mircea Geoană. Before traveling to Brussels, Dayan participated in a conference organized by the EJA (European Jewish Association) in cooperation with Yad Vashem, in Krakow together with various past and present world leaders addressing the importance of commemorating the Holocaust and continuing the battle against antisemitism.
New Art Exhibition: “Bigger than Me” by Israeli Artist Shai Azoulay
Yad Vashem also debuted a new art exhibition titled “Bigger Than Me” featuring six oil paintings and additional sketches created by renowned artist Shai Azoulay over the last month and a half. The exhibition will be on display in Yad Vashem’s Museum of Holocaust Art on the Mount of Remembrance through Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day observed this year 5-6 May 2024.
This is the first time Yad Vashem has exhibited artwork that was not created by Holocaust victims or survivors and does not consist of art that depict the atrocities of the Holocaust. During his time at Yad Vashem, Azoulay toured the Mount of Remembrance campus and explored its monuments and collections, including those dedicated to art, artifacts, photographs and documents. In wake of this journey of discovery, he created the body of artwork currently on display in this exhibition. The exhibition is part of a new cultural Residency Program at Yad Vashem.
Yad Vashem has uploaded a mini-site marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, featuring a variety of resources for the public to view, share and engage in, including online exhibitions, educational resources and the "IRemember Wall." This annual social media campaign is a unique and meaningful opportunity for the public to participate in a commemorative activity to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. By joining the IRemember Wall, the participant's Facebook profile is randomly linked to the name of a Holocaust victim from Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. Over the years hundreds of thousands of individuals participated in this commemorative event.
Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies conducted a unique educational remembrance program in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day called "Who Is Your Hero?: Stories from the Holocaust" geared for middle to high school-age students from around the world. The project aims at illuminating the stories of the Holocaust and inspire further learning opportunities about the Holocaust. Students from 14 countries submitted 115 projects in eight languages participated in the project.
Yad Vashem’s Ready2Print exhibitions will be displayed in dozens of community centers and institutions around the world. Ready2print is an innovative concept developed by Yad Vashem to provide museum quality exhibitions on a variety of themes and topics accessible and easy to print for display in community centers, libraries and schools as well as public and corporate spaces. There are a dozen Ready2print exhibitions featuring both personal accounts from the Holocaust as well as historical accounts.