Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority
Newsletter No. 10, February 2009

What’s New | Spotlight on the Web | Names Recovery | Recent Events | With Your Support  |  Yad Vashem Magazine | Support Us

Dear Friend,
In order to meaningfully commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27, Yad Vashem initiated and took part in numerous special events and exhibitions around the world. You are invited to glimpse the variety of activities that took place.

What’s New
Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day
Diplomatic Corps at Yad Vashem Exhibitions Around the World
World’s Largest Collection of Holocaust Survivor Video Testimonies
Diplomats from more than 30 countries converged at Yad Vashem 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, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Nepal, Poland and the United States, attended a cornerstone-laying ceremony for the new International Seminars Wing of the International School for Holocaust Studies. Educators from more than 15 countries including Canada, Australia, Latvia, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil, and more currently attending seminars at Yad Vashem also participated in the event. The new 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.
BESA: A Code of Honor - Muslim Albanians Who Rescued Jews During the Holocaust, opened January 27, 2009 at the Municipal Museum in city of Ramle. The photographic exhibition, with Hebrew and Arabic subtitles, comprises 17 portraits of Muslim Albanian Righteous Among the Nations and their families who went out of their way to rescue Jews, despite the grave danger this entailed. For three months following the opening of the exhibition in Ramle, Arab and Jewish students from the city will attend special educational programs of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. The “BESA” exhibition also opened in New York at the Columbia University's School for International Relations, on January 20 and will run through February 13, 2009

Other Yad Vashem exhibitions that opened on January 27, 2009: The “Auschwitz Album” at the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles; “Auschwitz: From the Depth of the Abyss” at the Headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels. The “No Child’s Play” traveling exhibition opened in City Hall in Linz, Austria; “An Arduous Road: Samuel Bak - 60 Years of Creativity” at the University of Mainz, Germany; and “Private Tolkatchev at the Gates of Hell” in the city of Neustrelitz in Germany.

Spotlight on the Web

Spanish Website and Youtube Channel Launched
A new website in Spanish was officially launched in Spain, on January 27, 2009 in the presence of Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos at the Palace de Viana in Madrid. The new site includes a multimedia exhibit of the “Auschwitz Album” with Spanish narration, extensive material on Righteous Among the Nations, educational resources, documents, maps, historical information, 47 survivor testimonies, 770 images from the Holocaust, 18 last letters, scholarly articles, art, 110 artifacts and their stories, 78 lexicon entries and much more.
Yad Vashem has also just launched a YouTube Channel in Spanish, joining the English, Hebrew and Arabic channels initiated in 2008. Some 900,000 people have visited the three sites since being uploaded.
New: Russian Portal to Yad Vashem Website

A new educational mini-site in Russian has just been uploaded to Yad Vashem’s virtual school. By making pedagogical materials easily available to Russian-speaking educators and students around the world, the International School for Holocaust Studies now provides easy access to educational information appropriate for students of all ages. Developed through the generous support of the Genesis Foundation, the new portal includes both historical and educational materials, with an emphasis on the events of the Holocaust in the Former Soviet Union.

Names Recovery

Expanded Global Activity to Recover Names of Shoah Victims

The Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Project has expanded its global outreach efforts to recover the name of each individual Jew who perished during the Holocaust. If you know of Shoah survivors or others who require assistance in submitting Pages of Testimony or would like to volunteer to join in this historic effort, please contact: names.proj@yadvashem.org.il. To learn more about the project click here

“A Living Connection - Bnei Mitzvah Twin With Holocaust Victims”

Read about a creative educational application of the Shoah Victims’ Names Recovery Project, outlining Bar/Bat mitzvah twinning projects - an increasingly popular way in which Jewish children and their families are strengthening their identification with the Jewish people by forging bonds with individual children killed in the Holocaust.

Recent Events

On January 27, 2009, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council addressed the UN official event commemorating the victims of the Holocaust. The theme of the Holocaust memorial ceremony was “An Authentic Basis for Hope: Holocaust Remembrance and Education” and Rabbi Lau was the keynote speaker.

At the European Center of the United Nations in Geneva, a special ceremony was held on January 27, with one thousand participants. The Director General of the UN Office in Geneva Sergei Ordzhonikidze, and Shulamit Imber, Pedagogical Director at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, addressed the audience.

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev participated in a special Israeli government session on January 25, 2009. Mr. Shalev addressed Israeli ministers on marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the fight against antisemitism.

On January 27, the World Jewish Congress held a special plenary session at Yad Vashem. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev joined WJC President Ron Lauder, WJC Governing Board Chair Matthew Bronfman and President of the European Jewish Congress Moshe Kantor and 300 other participants who took part in the session. The meeting included a commemoration ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and a visit to the Holocaust History Museum.

News Highlights
Stay informed with these articles of interest recently in the media.
How do you say Holocaust?
The Holocaust from the Inside out
German, Polish ambassadors blast comparisons of Gaza campaign to Holocaust
Jewish leaders object to Nazi imagery at rallies
Yad Vashem blasts envoy's comparison of Gaza op to Shoah

With Your Support...

Yad Vashem’s activities and programs would not be possible without the support of our many donors and friends. In these difficult days, when pursuing the important mission of commemoration of the Holocaust has never been more necessary, Yad Vashem more than ever needs you to join us in our efforts to transform commemoration into a lasting commitment to the Jewish people, to moral values and to responsible action.

US Professors Experience “Echoes and Reflections”

Echoes and Reflections” the joint Curriculum Development program developed by the ADL, USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, and Yad Vashem, has since 2004 inspired teachers and students alike in its groundbreaking approach to disseminating the Holocaust in the classroom. January 2009 saw the first Echoes and Reflections Professors’ Seminar at Yad Vashem. Professors from across the United States met with historians and pedagogical experts at Yad Vashem, Holocaust survivors and heard guest lecturers. Upon their return, the participating professors are working with Echoes and Reflections staff to bring the multimedia curriculum to their college campuses, with a special focus on preparing educators to teach the Holocaust once they enter the classroom.


The 2009 Echoes and Reflections Professors’ Seminar was funded by the Holocaust Studies Program for Training U.S. Educators in Memory of Nathan Katz, Holocaust Survivor from Lithuania. Additional funding for airfare was provided by Dana and Yossie Hollander, the Yad Vashem Benefactors who have supported the Echoes and Reflections program since its inception. A further donation to the program was recently made in honor of Helen and Abraham Goldkind.


Yad Vashem is now seeking more partners for this crucial project in 2009 and beyond. To read more about Echoes and Reflections, click here.

Yad Vashem welcomes the ongoing partnership and visits from its friends and supporters:

►  United States of America
►  Canada
►  France & Belgium
►  Germany, Austria & Liechtenstein
►  Spain, Portugal & Latin America
►  Scandinavia
►  Ukraine
►  United Kingdom
Christian Friends of Yad Vashem

For more information on Friends of Yad Vashem please click here


Yad Vashem Quarterly Magazine

The winter edition of the Yad Vashem Jerusalem Magazine has just come online. The issue highlights educational, research and commemorative events marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Also in this issue: read more about Yad Vashem’s new research center, recent publications, educational activities, the launch of a new educational series and how the Yad Vashem Archives helped reveal the fate of the family of Rabbi David Halivini.

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