Significance of  Yad Vashem

David Silberklang

Yad Vashem - The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, stands as a unifying symbol for Jews all over the world, and as a global warning against antisemitism, prejudice and genocide. It represents the memory, voice and conscience of the Jewish people – strengthening their commitment to the State of Israel, Jewish continuity and the protection of basic human rights and values worldwide. The strength and significance of Yad Vashem is that it transcends national boundaries, receiving worldwide respect and support. For more information about Yad Vashem To search the online database of names To submit the name of a victim for our pages of testimony To download or submit survivor registration forms



UK Educators Seventh Annual Seminar at Yad Vashem

19-26 February 2017

Yad Vashem UK seminar Feb 20173

Holocaust teaching in the shadow of Holocaust distortion and trivialisation in the Media was just one of the outstanding sessions at a week-long seminar at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for 21 educators from Jewish organisations and schools in the UK. They were sponsored by Yad Vashem – UK Foundation to help educators face the challenges of today when teaching the Holocaust.  Other thought-provoking sessions included Faith during the Holocaust, and a characteristically enlightening lecture by Professor Yehuda Bauer, the academic adviser to Yad Vashem on The Shoah and Zionism. For the first time this annual seminar focussed on informal educators in the community. Participants came from organisations as diverse as Tribe, The Jewish Chaplaincy, JW3, The Reform movement, Massorti, Habonim Dror, JLGB, as well as from Immanuel College, JCoss, and Yavneh College. The aim of the seminar was to enable the participants to become effective Holocaust educators in the UK and give them the tools to create their own programmes. As one participant put it, “To be exposed to the sensitive approach Yad Vashem has developed for Holocaust education in the 21st century, more than exceeded my expectations and its challenging and rigorous approach was a real eye-opener, even for someone like me who has been involved in Holocaust education for many years.”   

Read David Yehuda Stern’s blog about the seminar:

For more information contact


Pianist of Willesden Lane  – Gala Dinner 2 February 2017

Mona Golabek, the Los Angeles-based pianist, told her mother’s story through music at a fundraising dinner organised by Yad Vashem UK Foundation.

She had been taught the piano by her Austrian mother, Lisa Jura, who fled the Nazis on the Kindertransport to London at the age of 14 in 1938. Her mother’s parents were killed in Auschwitz. She recalled her mother saying “that each piece of music tells a story. She also told me about her youth in Vienna, taking a train ride, fleeing from the Nazis, making her way to a street called Willesden Lane where she grew up with other refugee children. So it became my destiny to tell the story.”

The pianist performed a sell-out one-woman show based on her mother’s life, The Pianist of Willesden Lane, at the St James Theatre in London last year. Her book, The Children of Willesden Lane, is set to be developed into a feature film by the BBC.

Looking to the future, Ruth Bergman, director of Hewlett Packard Labs in Israel, explained how digital techniques were revolutionising the way Holocaust memories can be preserved.

Simon Bentley, chairman of Yad Vashem UK Foundation, stressed the importance of “Holocaust education in the UK to help expose and confront the current extremism and antisemitism based on anti-Zionism, both from the right and the left, by guarding the memory of both victims and survivors”.



John Bercow,  Speaker of the House of Commons pays historic official visit to Israel

Monday 13 February: John Bercow, the first sitting House of Commons Speaker to visit Israel and the Knesset, was welcomed to a plenary session of the Knesset by his Israeli counter-part,  Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein. In Edelstein’s welcome greeting to Bercow and members of his delegation, he said:  ”Your visit has a special and historic value. Britain and Israel share a significant joint history. Important events in the history of both countries and nations are intertwined. One of these events, which is a cornerstone of the establishment of a national home for the Jewish People in the Land of Israel, is the Balfour Declaration, the 100th anniversary of which we are currently marking.”  On a visit to Yad Vashem the next day, he reiterated the UK government’s determination to combat antisemitism.

John Bercow, born to an English Jewish family from north London, is the first Jewish House of Commons Speaker in British history.  He last visited Israel in 1975, for his Barmitzvah.

ohn Bercow at Yad Vashem’s Hall of Names


Yad Vashem Leadership Mission Poland-Israel 6-12 July 2016

yvmission4 The Yad Vashem Leadership Mission 2016 offered participants a unique experience in Poland and in Israel. The Mission brought Jewish Poland to life, exploring various points of the Jewish experience from before, during, and after the Holocaust. Culminating in Israel, participants were welcomed by the President of Israel and had an opportunity to see Yad Vashem as never before, engaging with meaningful aspects of our far-reaching initiatives in Jerusalem and around the world. yv mission rivlin yv leadership missionphoto 2016

Professor Elie Wiesel 1928-2016

Yad Vashem UK mourns the loss of a dear friend and colleague, Holocaust survivor Professor Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate, historian and Vice Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council

“He was devoted to bearing testimony to the atrocities he witnessed, and did so through his exceptional talents both as a writer and as a gifted orator.” Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev

3 July 2016
Prof. Elie Wiesel speaks at Yad Vashem Prof. Elie Wiesel speaks at Yad Vashem Prof. Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate, historian and Vice Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, passed away yesterday at the age of 87 in the United States. Wiesel was born in Sighet, Romania and was eleven years old at the outbreak of World War II. In May 1944, Wiesel, age 15, was deported together with his family to Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was selected for forced labor at Auschwitz III-Monowitz, a work subcamp, together with his father. In April 1945, Wiesel was liberated at Buchenwald concentration camp by the Allied Forces. He immigrated to the United States in 1955. Prof. Elie Wiesel was an accomplished writer and humanitarian. His famous La Nuit (Night), based on his memoir Und di velt hot geshvign (And the World Remained Silent), became a top-selling book as well as tool for teaching the subject of the Holocaust to youth around the world. Wiesel won numerous awards and prizes including the Nobel Peace Prize. Together with his wife Marion, he founded the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity whose mission is to “combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.” ( Over the years, Wiesel worked closely together with Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, on many projects relating to Holocaust remembrance and education. He served as Vice Chairman of Yad Vashem Council and was involved in the planning of the Holocaust History Museum that opened in 2005 and the design of Yad Vashem’s permanent exhibition “Shoah” in Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Together with Romanian historian Jean Ancel, Wiesel also led the International Commission on the Holocaust in Romania, established by former Romanian President in 2003. “Elie Wiesel was a loyal member of the Jewish nation,” said Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev. “He dedicated his life to strengthening and ensuring the continuity of the Jewish people throughout the world. As a Holocaust survivor, he was devoted to bearing testimony to the atrocities he witnessed, and did so through his exceptional talents both as a writer and as a gifted orator. Elie believed to his dying day that the world must remember and study about the Holocaust as a unique event for the Jewish nation that has a universal message for all of humanity. Furthermore, Shalev reflected that “Wiesel’s death is a painful reminder that the generation of Holocaust survivors is dwindling each year. Yad Vashem is committed to ensuring their legacy for generations to come.”

Professor David Cesarani 1956-2015

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of Professor David Cesarani, one of the UK’s leading scholars in Jewish history and the Holocaust, who died suddenly at the age of 58. He had recently joined Yad Vashem UK Foundation’s Advisory board, and his advice and contribution will be sorely missed. He was a founding trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust. He  also served on David Cameron’s Holocaust Commission and was honoured by the Queen with an OBE in 2005 for services for Shoah education and for advising the government on the creation of Holocaust Memorial Day. David Cesarani dedicated his life ’s work to enhancing the understanding of humanity’s darkest hour Known as “a towering academic”, he wrote and edited over a dozen books including the definitive biography and history of Adolf Eichmann - After Eichmann: Collective Memory and the Holocaust since 1961, for which he won the National Jewish Book Award for History in 2006, The Final Solution: Origins and Implementation, Justice Delayed: How Britain became a refuge for Nazi war criminals, The Making of Modern Anglo-Jewry, and  The ‘Jewish Chronicle’ and Anglo-Jewry 1841-1991.


Her Majesty the Queen visits Bergen Belsen 26 June 2015

On her first ever visit to a concentration camp, the Queen and Prince Philip visited the camp where about 50,000 people lost their lives during and immediately after the Holocaust. She was accompanied on her visit by Chief Rabbi Mirvis, honorary patron of Yad Vashem – UK Foundation, and  met survivors and British veterans who liberated the camp in 1945. The Queen and Prince Philip passed the mass graves where 20,000 people were buried by the British after liberation and Her Majesty laid a wreath at the camp memorial.


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