President Rivlin welcomes international Yad VaShem Leadership delegation
(Communicated by the President's Spokesperson)
President Reuven Rivlin this evening (Sunday) welcomed an international delegation of the Yad VaShem Leadership Mission at his residence in Jerusalem. During the meeting, the President was presented with a copy of a Rosh Hashanah prayer book which Holocaust survivor Naftali Stern compiled from memory while he was captive in a labour camp. Also participating in the meeting was Avner Shalev has been Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, and Lenny Wolf, representative of the delegation and a second generation survivor.
The President thanked to group for their dedication to both commemorating the Holocaust, and to educating future generations. "The State of Israel is not by any means compensation to the Jewish people for the atrocities carried out against them in the Holocaust. Israel was not created because of the Holocaust - Israel exists because Jews have the universal right to national self-determination in their historical homeland," began the President. He went on to stress, "But we cannot, and do not want, to deny the central place of the Holocaust to our existence here today. In many ways, we all have a number on our arms. The Holocaust is present in so many aspects of our lives; as individuals and as a society. The memory of the Holocaust shapes our commitment and dedication to be strong enough to defend our citizens from violence and terror. The memory of the Holocaust shapes our commitment to Jewish solidarity, and to build our important relations with the Jewish Diaspora."
The President noted, "Ever since Yad VaShem was founded it has had a very clear mission: to document and to remember, but also to educate the next generation in Israel and all over the world about the Holocaust. In other words keeping the memory of the past and building hope for the future." He concluded, "You not only guard a tragic and heavy burden of memory, but you are also architects of the future of the Jewish people."