|Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate addressing |
the international symposium
“Yad Vashem's story as an institution is rare: an initially small, ground roots initiative in a new nation that developed remarkably into a world-renowned institution which meaningfully influences multitudes of people, in the Israeli, Jewish and international spheres. This influence provides a guiding path in the fields of Holocaust research, documentation, education and commemoration.” So stated Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate at the international symposium marking 60 years since the establishment of Yad Vashem. The day-long event on December 19, 2013, organized by the International Institute for Holocaust Research, featured speakers from Israel, Poland, France and Germany, and took place in the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.
The symposium, generously supported by the Gutwirth Family Fund, focused on Yad Vashem at 60 Years with a wide range of speakers who discussed its formation, consolidation and challenges. Speakers included Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Dorit Novak, Israel, Amb. Reuven Merhav, Israel, Prof. Dan Michman, Israel, Dr. Bella Gutterman, Israel, Prof. Dina Porat, Israel, Dr. Boaz Cohen, Israel, Prof. Annette Wieviorka, France, Prof. Pawel Spiewak, Poland, and Dr. Susanne Heim, Germany.
|From left to right: Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel |
Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev
and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Claims Conference
Ambassador Reuven Merhav
Recounting this uniqueness of Yad Vashem in the world, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council highlighted the importance of the institution's success in maintaining a unified space for Holocaust remembrance. “Yad Vashem serves as a keepsake for the entire Jewish people and not just specific sectors of it, thus providing a more comprehensive and complete account of the Jewish experience during the Holocaust.”
|Those in attendance included Yad Vashem staff, Holocaust survivors, |
international speakers and general public
Yad Vashem was established by a law of the Knesset in 1953 to commemorate the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. Through its museums, archives, International School for Holocaust Studies, International Institute for Holocaust Research, and recognition of the Righteous among the Nations, Yad Vashem has become the world center of Holocaust documentation, research, education and commemoration, with some 1 million people visiting the campus annually, and some 12 million visits to its website recorded last year. Over the years, Yad Vashem has received the Israel Prize for special contribution to the society and State of Israel in 2003, the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord in 2007, and numerous other awards and recognitions for its work on behalf of Holocaust commemoration, research and education.