As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter.
Yad Vashem is not only a museum about the destruction of 6 million Jews; it is a research facility built around meeting the victims of the Holocaust, their lives and the experiences which led to the demise of so many.
Yad Vashem was established in 1953 by the Knesset, with the passing of the Yad Vashem Law. This law created an institute with the purpose of documenting the Holocaust. The origin of the name is from a biblical verse: “And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (Yad Vashem) that shall not be cut off” (Isaiah, chapter 56, verse 5). The initial building was built in the 1960s. The new history museum was opened in 2005. The impressive new structure, a long triangular pathway, leads the museum visitor through rooms of history. Mainly underground, with a triangular vertex that peaks out from the mountain, the museum juts out over the valley at one end, with the Hall of Remembrance overlooking the hills of Jerusalem.
The Yad Vashem complex contains the Yad Vashem History Museum, the Museum of Holocaust Art, the Exhibitions Pavilion, the Learning Center, the Visual center and the Synagogue. Memorials include the Children’s Memorial, the Hall of Remembrance, the Valley of Communities, and the Righteous among the Nations Garden, honouring non-Jews who put themselves at great risk to assist the Jews of the world.