Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yad Vashem's Jerusalem Magazine Now Online

The fall edition of Yad Vashem's quarterly magazine Jerusalem is now available online. Highlighted is the online communities project which focuses on an individual community to describe its uniqueness in a special virtual exhibition. Other articles focus on Yad Vashem's role in a new initiative of the EU to make Holocaust documentation fully accessible, a unique program which films survivor testimonies in the locations where the events took place, educational endeavors, new research, recent publications and more.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An Emotional Journey - Yad Vashem's Bar/Bat Mitzvah Twinning Programme

My name is Jodi Margolis and I will be celebrating my Bat Mitzvah in December this year. I heard about the Yad Vashem Bat/Bar Mitzvah twinning programme, which gives me the opportunity to link my Bat Mitzvah with a girl who died in the Holocaust, and bring her name to life. This girl’s name is Lusia Margolis who died at the age of twelve. Her name had been given to Yad Vashem by her two first cousins, Edith and Rose, who survived the Holocaust. We managed to trace them and unbelievably they are both still alive and living in America! We took a chance and phoned them and they were overwhelmed when they heard the reason for our call. It was an extremely emotional phone call and I was particularly moved when they said that this was the first time they had heard Lusia’s name mentioned since the Holocaust. They are now 93 and 89 years old and I am honoured to be able to be in contact with them. Edith and Rose sent me a copy of the only photo they had of the whole family, which helped to bring Lusia to life. I talk about her on a daily basis and I really feel as if I know her. I regularly email Edith and Rose and they really are such wonderful ladies, who are so full of life.

This has been a very emotional journey for me, and there are some aspects of it that I just can’t put into words. When I started the twinning process, I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would have come this far and be so much more meaningful and special than I had originally anticipated! I really feel as if there is some connection between Lusia and myself, and if it weren’t for Edith and Rose putting her name forward to Yad Vashem, I never would have been blessed to honour Lusia’s memory. There is so much more to this wonderful story, including aspects from Edith’s and Rose’s sides, but I have only given a brief overview of my perspective. In the meantime, this is an ongoing story!

For more information about twinning in the UK, contact the British Friends of Yad Vashem,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Greek Foreign Minister Visited Yad Vashem today

The Foreign Minister of Greece, Dimitris P. Droutsas, visited this morning. He had a special tour of the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations, the Synagogue at Yad Vashem which showcases Judaica from destroyed synagogues in Europe, and the "Virtues of Memory: Six Decades of Holocaust Survivors' Creativity" exhibition, which features the work of some 300 Holocaust survivors. He was guided in the exhibition by Eliad Moreh-Rosenberg, an art curator at Yad Vashem.

At the conclusion of his visit, the Foreign Minister wrote in the Guest Book,
"As a visitor to Yad Vashem, I was struck by the simplicity and directness of its message. Watching the worst crime ever against humanity so thoughtfully documented, I wholeheartedly commit myself to always remember the millions of innocent victims in the Holocaust and to continuously work for universal respect of human, fundamental human rights. It is my firm conviction that this is our only guarantee against future repeating of our tragic past."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chinese Educators at Yad Vashem for First of its Kind Int'l Seminar

Some twenty Chinese educators are currently participating in a 2-week seminar at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies that opened October 4, 2010. This first of its kind seminar brings together participants from China, Hong Kong and Macau, for in-depth study of the Holocaust and how to teach it in the classroom.

For most of the participants it was their first visit to Israel. One of the educators, currently on leave from her teaching position in order to complete a thesis on Petr Gintz was especially gratified to see authentic Holocaust-era artifacts.

While at Yad Vashem participants will tour the Holocaust History Museum, Valley of the Communities, and other sites at Yad Vashem, and have the opportunity to hear from top educators and historians about various topics related to the Holocaust. Antisemitism, the ‘Final Solution’, the Allies and the Holocaust, the Righteous Among the Nations, the unprecedentedness of the Holocaust, and Yad Vashem’s pedagogical approach to Holocaust education and presentations of specific educational resources, will be among the issues presented during the seminar. Participants will also meet Holocaust survivors and tour Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas in Israel.