Yom HaShoah/Yad Vashem and March of the Living

April 2, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Yad Vashem will observe Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day for two days, starting Wednesday evening, 7 April.

The official State Opening Ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place on Wednesday, 7 April, at 20:00, in Warsaw Ghetto Square, Yad Vashem, on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.

Australian Memorial Wall at Yad Vashem

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will both deliver remarks at the Opening Ceremony. Yad Vashem’s Acting Chairman Ronen Plot will kindle the Memorial Torch. Roza Bloch will speak on behalf of the survivors.

During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors will light six torches. First torch: Shmuel Naar; second torch: Zehava Gealel; third torch: Yossi Chen; fourth torch: Halina Friedman; fifth torch: Sara Fishman; sixth torch: Manya Bigunov. During the ceremony, short videos about each of the torchlighters will be shown. Produced and directed by Shlomo Hazan, these videos will be available on the Yad Vashem website in the section dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021.

Israeli singers David Daor and Meshi Kleinstein, as well as the IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard, will participate in the ceremony, which will also include narrative pieces by Israeli actor Dean Miroshnikov. The MC for the ceremony will be Hila Korach. The ceremony will last approximately 75 minutes. 

As in past years, the ceremony will also feature a traditional memorial service, including the recitation of a chapter from Psalms by Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau. The Rishon LeZion, Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef will recite the Kaddish mourner’s prayer, and Cantor Avraham Kirshenbaum will recite El Maleh Rahamim, the Jewish prayer for the souls of the martyrs. 

Yad Vashem will broadcast the State Opening Ceremony live with simultaneous translation into EnglishFrench, Spanish, German, Hebrew and Russian via its websites in their respective languages. Additionally, for the first time, Yad Vashem will offer simultaneous translation in Arabic available on the Yad Vashem YouTube Channel in Arabic. The live feed will also be accessible via Facebook (only live in English and Hebrew).

On Wednesday, April 7, The International March of the Living, together with the Maimonides Institute for Ethics and the Holocaust, the Miller Center at Rutgers University, the USC Shoah Foundation and Teva Pharmaceuticals, will hold a special symposium on Medicine and Morality: Lessons from the Holocaust and COVID-19”.

At a time which has shed light on global health and medical professionals, this year’s special event will discuss the nexus between medicine, ethics, and the Holocaust. The program will include testimony from survivors who were both persecuted by Nazi doctors as well as saved by medical professionals during the Holocaust. It will also feature world-renowned medical professionals and researchers who will discuss medical resistance during the Holocaust, the legacy of Nazi medicine and what the Holocaust can teach us about the ethics of care.

During the symposium, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the U.S. President, will receive the “Moral Courage in Medicine” award for his work in combatting COVID-19, his long history of leading the battle against infectious diseases, and his dedication to the health and wellbeing of humankind.

The event will also include a moving performance of ‘Schindler’s List’ by Grammy Award winner and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador of Music, Miri Ben-Ari. A renowned violinist, producer and humanitarian, Ben-Ari is also the descendant of Holocaust survivors.

Speakers at the event include:

  • Dr. Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General, World Medical Association and Former Deputy Secretary General of the German Medical Association
  • Dr. David Urion, Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School and Faculty Member of the Centre for Bioethics
  • Dr. Ashley Fernandes, MD, PhD, Associate Director of the Center for Bioethics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine
  • Dr. Eran Harary, Teva Pharmaceuticals VP, TA Head, Neurology and Psychiatry, Global Specialty R&D

Medical associations from around the globe, including those on the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, will take part in this special Holocaust Remembrance Day program. Participating organizations include the World Medical Association, Department of Education of the UNESCO Chair of Bioethics, Israeli Medical Association, Canadian Medical Association, Indian Medical Association, South African Medical Association and many others. The program has been approved for 1.5 ACCME credits for participating physicians and nurses.

,Vice-Chair of the International March of the Living, Prof. David Machlis, and Founding Director of the Maimonides Institute for Ethics and the Holocaust Dr. Stacy Gallin, noted that this year in particular, it is appropriate to honour the activities and heroism of the medical community during the Holocaust, by inviting practising medical professionals to participate in all of the March’s events. “We believe that hundreds of medical staff and medical students will tune in to watch a program that will be both informative and poignant,” said Prof. Machlis.

Dr. Eran Harary, Teva Pharmaceuticals VP, TA Head, Neurology and Psychiatry, Global Specialty R&D:This is an emotional closing of the circle for the Israeli pharmaceutical industry. The Nazis and their collaborators worked systematically to exterminate our people, conducting monstrous experiments. We are now a world leader when it comes to science and medicine, developing drugs and bringing improved health to the lives of patients across the world. From a nation that was condemned to death and destruction during the Holocaust, we are a people engaged in preserving life. Scientific education and a commitment to finding medical solutions is our victory over those who sought and continue to seek to perpetrate evil.”

International March of the Living is the largest annual international Holocaust education program which, until the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020, has taken place in Poland and Israel without interruption, since its inception in 1988. To date, close to 300,000 International March of the Living participants have marched en masse along the 3.2-kilometre path from Auschwitz to Birkenau, against prejudice, intolerance and hate and in tribute to the greatest loss in the history of the Jewish people.

The event will be broadcast online on Wednesday 7 April at 19.00 ET. Visit the following link to register: https://www.motl.org/medicine/


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