“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
Photo: Hall of Names, Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum
Examples of Israeli efforts include the Chairs Projects of the Israeli IHRA Chairmanship (2010), current efforts by the Ministry of Education to establish a National Holocaust Curriculum, the establishment of the Ministry of Senior Citizens to oversee Holocaust survivors, and many complimentary efforts by Israeli NGOs to care for them. The Holocaust remains an integral part of Israeli society and culture. A 2012 study on identity among Israelis found that 98% percent of the respondents consider it either "fairly important" or "very important" to remember the Holocaust. Remembrance, it can be seen, is a central tenet of Israeli life. The main challenge for the future is viewed as the preservation of a vibrant, relevant culture of Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research in a world where fewer survivors remain to bear witness, and in particular against a backdrop of increasing global Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial.
Avner Shalev and Amb. Gideon Behar
Co-Heads of Delegation, State of Israel
Aspects of Holocaust awareness and commemoration remain present throughout the entire Israeli academic year. Study trips to Poland have been made available to all 11th Graders by the Israeli Ministry of Education.Various programs have also been developed by some of the Israeli Holocaust organizations over the years to enable discussion and awareness raising on the Holocaust in minority groups in Israel with no personal or cultural connections to the Shoah.
Photo: Israeli students at Ghetto Fighter's House Museum
Photo: Conference at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad VashemInternational School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. This plan, which aims to formalize the teaching of the Holocaust in schools, will be age-appropriate: first-graders will not be exposed to disturbing stories or images, but rather, six-year-olds will discuss baseless hatred, tolerance for others and similar topics. Lectures will become more comprehensive in later years.
Photo: Former Minister of Education Gideon Saar views an exhibit at Massuah
An ongoing and ever-evolving priority in Israeli Holocaust education remains the virtual realm: Resources in both national and a plethora of foreign languages, such as lesson plans, sample ceremonies, maps and guidelines, have been developed and are readily available on a number of websites of Israeli Holocaust organizations, and all the major organizations maintain a presence on the main social networks.
*More information can be found in the study Shoah Education in Israeli State Schools: An Educational Research 2007 - 2009, highlights submitted by Dr. Erik Cohen, Bar Ilan University School of Education: shoah_education_in _israeli_state_schools.pdf [111.10 KB]
Photo: Yom HaShoah at Yad Vashem
Photo: Official International Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony at Massuah
It should be further noted that on two fast days in the Jewish calendar, (the 10th day of Tevet and the 9th day of Av, respectively) it is growing increasingly common that members of the orthodox Jewish- and particularly the ultra-orthodox- communities in Israel and around the world choose to focus on the Holocaust as part of a general mourning for tragedies which have befallen the Jewish People.
Photo: Yad Layeled Children's Museum at the Ghetto Fighters' HouseYad Vashem's International Institute for Holocaust Research; the Arnold and Leona Finkler Institute of Holocaust Research at Bar Ilan University; The Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism; the Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism at Tel Aviv University, as well as others, publish research reports, articles and books related to Holocaust studies every year.
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has established a department for combating Antisemitism and promoting Holocaust awareness. The staff work closely with non-governmental organisations, research institutes and scholars in Israel and abroad. They are also responsible for the coordination of the Global Forum for Countering Antisemitism.