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FROM THE DESK OF AVNER SHALEV – YAD VASHEM, JERUSALEM

FROM THE DESK OF AVNER SHALEV – YAD VASHEM, JERUSALEM



12 March 2020

Dear Friends,

The world’s growing apprehension and reactions to the effects and implications of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have affected us all. Together with our vital, natural concern for the safety and wellbeing of our own families and communities, the members of extended “families” like Yad Vashem’s think of each other at this time and reach out to each other, in true fellowship.

That is my sentiment and my motivation in this particular letter: To assure our close friends and supporters around the world that you are ever-present in our hearts and minds, and to share with you some of the pressing, previously unexpected, difficulties that we now face here. 

As I have repeatedly informed our staff members in recent weeks, Yad Vashem’s deep commitment to their welfare is indicated by our strict adherence to the increasingly demanding procedures mandated by Israel’s Ministry of Health.

Our compliance with new restrictions on the number of visitors permitted simultaneously on our campus, coupled with numerous cancellations by overseas and Israeli visitors, have substantially curtailed the extent of our Museum’s activities.

However, Yad Vashem’s extensive archival, research and online activities continue unabated.

We are in daily contact with senior Government officials and key constituencies – such as our Friends Societies around the world and Shoah survivor groups – in order remain up-to-date regarding any relevant developments.

This includes ongoing discussions about observance of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day next month. Clearly, this year’s commemorative events will require from us special flexibility and creativity.

Of course, we will convey to you as rapidly as possible any significant updates pertaining to Yad Vashem’s activities and operation during the current health emergency.

Correspondingly, I encourage you to share with us news and reflections about your own situation at this challenging time. I am sure that we can and will strengthen each other as we face, and eventually overcome, this unforeseen crisis.

With best wishes and prayers for your good health and that of your loved ones,

Avner Shalev
Chairman
Yad Vashem Directorate