The Holocaust, or Shoah, was a defining event in human history; one which generated a major crisis of credibility regarding our most basic assumptions about the nature of mankind, of society, of the modern state, and of our responsibility as individuals to take a stand against the unjust suffering of innocent people everywhere. The Nazi persecution of the Jews began in 1933 and led to the mass murder of Jews during World War II. It took the Germans and their accomplices four and a half years to murder six million Jews. By 1945, most of the Jews of Europe were dead and the unique multi-faceted culture of European Jewry that had flourished for almost 2,000 years was no more.
Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Authority, was founded in 1953 by an act of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and entrusted with the mission of safeguarding the memory of the Holocaust and imparting its meaning for future generations. But Yad Vashem is much more than a Holocaust museum. Situated on 45 acres on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, it is a world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem is a community of memory; housing the world-renowned International School for Holocaust Studies and International Institute for Holocaust Research, as well as a publications division, the world’s most complete Holocaust reference library and film collection, and the world’s largest archive of Holocaust documentation and artifacts.
Christian Friends of Yad Vashem (CFYV) was established in October 2006 in cooperation with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) to raise awareness about the Holocaust and its universal lessons in Christian communities. Today CFYV is active in many countries worldwide and works with a variety of denominations and Christian ministries to build bridges between Jews and Christians. We firmly believe in Yad Vashem's motto: Remembering the Past, Shaping the Future.
CFYV needs you to stand with us and spread the word about our mission. Please, let us know how we can work with you to further Holocaust remembrance and education in your community.
I invite you to read about our activities on these pages, and feel free to email me with your specific questions and comments.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
With blessings from Jerusalem,
Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, Director
Christian Friends of Yad Vashem