Stanley H. Stone

October 28, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly update finds you and your family well.

As we emerged from a month of Jewish holidays into our first full “normal” week, we were once again confronted by antisemitism and Holocaust distortion dominating social media and the news. In a recent interview in the Times of Israel/Jewish Standard, Abraham Foxman, immediate past national director of the Anti-Defamation League and ASYV Advisory Council member noted, “Antisemitism had been relegated to the sewer, where it festered, rank, in the dark. But the manhole covers above it kept it underground.”

“It’s scary,” Mr. Foxman continued. “People are confronting many problems now; inflation, political uncertainty, the war in Ukraine, the pandemic – these are all real. But historically, Jews always have been the easy scapegoat for grievances. Is there a plague? Blame the Jews! So now, in the year 2022, we still are the scapegoat.” And regarding Kanye West, Mr. Foxman reiterated that “he has three times as many followers on social media as there are Jews in the world,” adding “What scares me is the loss of truth.”

I remember reading a quote from Abba Eban: “In World War II, Jews had influence in many places but power in none.” Influence is not enough; you need power to make a difference. Thankfully, with Yad Vashem, we have the power not only to remember, but also to educate and communicate the truth about what happened.

There are actions you can take to help:

  • Please consider joining us at the ASYV Fall Gala on November 3 as we honor Beth & Lenny Wilf. Help ensure that ASYV and Yad Vashem can continue our critical work to educate, research, document, and commemorate this tragic period in human history.
  • Visit Yad Vashem’s website to learn the facts. Increase your knowledge and awareness of the history of the Holocaust and support an organization committed to keeping its memory and lessons alive.

It is our mission; it is our responsibility. Thank you for your interest and support. I look forward to seeing many of you next week as we pay tribute to Lenny & Beth.

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

October 21, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope you enjoyed a nice end to the High Holidays with the celebration of Simchat Torah earlier this week. The High Holidays represent fresh starts and new beginnings. From the start of Elul, when we began preparing for the High Holidays, all the way through to Simchat Torah, when we begin a new Torah cycle, we have opportunities to start over. The expectations may stay the same each year, but we always strive to do a better job next year than last.

This week’s Torah portion, Bereshit, the first in the Book of Genesis, sets forth our goal for the year; it tells us the basic core of human responsibility – that we are in charge of the world and its maintenance – serving as a reminder that its destiny is up to us. It is empowering to know that within each of us lies the ability to make the world a better place.

The Holocaust, a singular event in human history, is a painful reminder of what happens when individuals do not take personal responsibility for the world and the actions of others. Today, we all must carry that responsibility to ensure it can never happen again. Yad Vashem’s sole mission is to educate, research, document, and commemorate the Shoah. As we begin a new Jewish year, we must redouble our efforts to combat Holocaust distortion and trivialization in a world where they have become far too common. Thank you for partnering with us–your support and interest are invaluable.

I look forward to connecting with you in the coming year.

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

October 14, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope you are enjoying Sukkot – one of the most joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar.  As we head into the final days of these holidays, my message is brief – I want to wish you all the best in 5783.

Thank you for your partnership and confidence in our work to educate, research, document, and commemorate the Shoah. We simply could not do it without you.

Enjoy the last days of Sukkot, Shabbat Shalom, and Chag Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah.

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

October 7, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope that all who observed Yom Kippur had a meaningful day.

This coming Sunday evening, October 9, we will begin to celebrate Sukkot. Sukkot is a weeklong Jewish holiday that celebrates the harvest and commemorates the miraculous protection G‑d provided the children of Israel when they left Egypt. One of the commandments/mitzvot of Sukkot is to live in a temporary dwelling/Sukkah, just as the Israelites did.

The countless acts of resilience during the Shoah have always been remarkable to me – particularly, the ways in which Jews maintained observances of Jewish ritual, despite the danger and risk. The Nazis’ desire to eradicate only reinforced the Jews’ determination not to give in and to continue to observe.

Esther Farbstein, the Israeli historian and author, who focuses on the spiritual responses of Jews to Nazi persecution, shared an inspiring story in her book, Forgotten Memoirs. During the intermediate days of Sukkot, Jewish prisoners from a work camp noticed foxholes in a field where they were working. The foxholes had been dug for soldiers to take cover while shooting cannons. The Jews gathered straw and twigs and covered a foxhole with them to a make a sukkah. As Farbstein notes, the Jewish prisoners joyfully entered the pit, thereby fulfilling the verse “from the depths I called You, G-d,” and performed the mitzvah of dwelling in the sukkah by eating a bit of coarse black bread. “At the time, it tasted like delicious manna,” one prisoner described.

This story and thousands of other firsthand accounts must be preserved and catalogued. Yad Vashem is the foremost institution in the world committed to collecting, preserving and telling the full story of what happened to our people. Yad Vashem constantly reminds us that, despite unimaginable obstacles, our spirit and commitment to tradition persevered.

Your continued support makes you a vital partner in ensuring that Yad Vashem’s work continues. Thank you.

Shabbat Shalom and wishing you a Chag Sameach, a happy Sukkot,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

September 30, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope you had a meaningful Rosh Hashanah.

One of the main prayers we recite on Yom Kippur is Yizkor. Yizkor, in Hebrew, means “to remember.” We pray to G-d to remember the souls of our loved ones who are no longer with us. During the Yizkor prayer, we pledge to give to charity in honor of those who have passed.

At the American Society for Yad Vashem, remembering is what we do every day. Through Yad Vashem, we are committed to Holocaust education, research, documentation, and commemoration, ensuring that the world will never forget.

As we look ahead and prepare for Yom Kippur, please join us in supporting our mission to “remember.” Please click here to participate. Your continued support is vital to our mission. Thank you for all you do.

G’mar Chatima Tova–may you be sealed in the Book of Life.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

September 23, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly message finds you and your family well.

As our Jewish year comes to a close, ASYV and the world said goodbye this week to Holocaust survivor and ASYV Board member, Edward Mosberg. Mr. Mosberg passed away Wednesday, surrounded by his loving family in New Jersey at the age of 96. Ed became one of the biggest supporters of the March of the Living and was the honorary President of the From The Depths Foundation. After losing almost his entire family during the war, Ed made it his life’s mission to promote Holocaust remembrance and support Holocaust education.

Ed Mosberg spoke at the last March of the Living event in Poland just a few months ago. He urged the world not to compare the war in Ukraine to the Holocaust; “The Holocaust was completely different,” he said emotionally. “I feel sorry for those people… but never compare this [war] to the Holocaust.”

The world has lost a giant, a true leader, someone never afraid to speak his mind and tell the truth. He survived true hell and through that was able to build the most loving family and leave a legacy that will continue. Ed’s message to us had been, “It is important that those who come after us are our witnesses and be sure that the tragedy of the Holocaust will never be forgotten.” May his memory be a blessing.

On the second day of Rosh Hashanah, we will mark the 10th yahrzeit of Eli Zborowski, z”l. Eli was the founder of ASYV and through his vision and leadership, he introduced Holocaust remembrance and education into the fabric of Jewish and American life.

John C. Maxwell in The Indispensable Qualities of a Leader said, “Leadership is the expression of courage that compels people to do the right thing.” As World War II began to rage in his hometown of Zarki, then only a teenager, Eli began to take risks and accept responsibility. At age 14, Eli joined the Jewish underground where he served as a courier between the ghettos in Western Poland. On many occasions, he exhibited the calm and courage that Ernest Hemingway described as, “grace under pressure.” May his memory be a blessing.

On the shoulders of these giants, ASYV continues to work every day to promote Yad Vashem’s mission of Holocaust education, commemoration, documentation, and research. This past year, we have successfully reached more teachers and students, teaching them with Yad Vashem’s unique pedagogical perspective on Holocaust education. As we resume more in-person opportunities, working closely with Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, we plan on expanding educational opportunities throughout the United States. Over the next few months, you will begin to hear more and know that none of this could happen without your generous support. Thank you.

I am blessed to work with wonderful partners. My thanks to ASYV Co-Chairs, Adina Burian and Mark Moskowitz, who lead this organization with passion, intelligence, and grace. Their leadership inspires our entire board who are all equally committed. It is a privilege to work with such a dedicated group of men and women. Finally, my thanks to my colleagues. They are an amazing team and it is an honor to work with them every day.

May the coming year be filled with health, happiness, and great success for you and your families. May we all be blessed to build a world free of hate for the coming generations.

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova U’metukah

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

September 16, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly message finds you and your family well.

The issues of Holocaust distortion, antisemitism, BDS, and anti-Israel activities on many college campuses in the U.S. is deeply troubling. Jane Cornell, a longtime supporter of Yad Vashem with her late husband, Alan z’l, was deeply concerned. Alan was the son of survivors from Holland. Jane and her family approached Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies to explore what could be done.

After extensive discussions, The Alan Cornell U.S. Campus Faculty Seminar was created, especially for faculty members and staff on U.S. campuses. Registration is now open for the seminar, a fully subsidized program that will focus on Holocaust history and research, as well as the history of antisemitism. Participants will acquire tools to effectively address Holocaust denial, distortion, and antisemitism in the classroom, as well as the wider community. They will also have access to Yad Vashem’s extensive archival holdings and collections, take part in workshops and group discussions, and become acquainted with Yad Vashem’s memorials and exhibitions.

This is but one example of Yad Vashem’s unique role in Holocaust education. Only the International School for Holocaust Studies could create a seminar with such access to experts, artifacts, archives and content. With your continued support, Yad Vashem remains at the forefront of Holocaust education, remembrance, documentation, and research.

We extend our thanks to the Cornell family, who has entrusted Yad Vashem with this critical task and through this program honors the memory of Alan, a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. May his memory be a blessing.

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

September 9, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope you had a nice long Labor Day weekend and are settling into your Fall routine. Here at ASYV, we are moving full steam ahead in planning for our annual Gala honoring Lenny and Beth Wilf this coming November 3rd in person in New York City and simultaneously live streamed around the country.

The theme for the gala is, The Power of One. Our tradition tells us that, “Whosoever saves a single life, saves an entire universe” (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:5). Yad Vashem’s raison d’etre is its commitment to collecting the names and stories of each and every individual victim of the Holocaust. Using pages of testimony collected from survivors and their families, combined with clues gleaned from archival documentation, artifacts and more, every clue helps tell a personal story. The stories uncovered represent a fragment of the rich mosaic that was Jewish life pre-war, the devastation of the Holocaust itself, and the rebuilding of Jewish life afterwards. Yad Vashem does not focus on one group of six million, but rather on six million individual lives. The work is painstaking, but it enables us to rebuild these lives to fully understand what was lost and find hope in the legacy of the survivors.

You represent the Power of One. Through your leadership, participation, and generosity, you ensure that the memories of those lost are not forgotten—that in the words of one victim: I should like someone to remember that there once lived a person named David Berger.

Thank you for all you do. I hope you will join us on November 3rd as we recognize the individual impact Lenny and Beth have had on Yad Vashem, ASYV and Holocaust education and commemoration. Please click the link below to register.

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

September 2, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this finds you well.

Labor Day Weekend usually signifies the end of the lazy days of summer and the return to a more hectic pace. ASYV is jumping right back into the swing of things.

On Tuesday September 6, Marlene W. Yahalom PhD, ASYV Director of Education, is presenting a teacher training session on behalf of the Florida Holocaust Museum and Florida Department of Education to enhance Holocaust understanding, to explore the significance of historical documentation and to honor Holocaust victims and destroyed communities. Marlene will be participating with other scholars via zoom. The program is open to educators outside of Florida. If you or someone you know might be interested in participating, please see the flyer below for additional information.

On November 3, ASYV is honoring Lenny & Beth Wilf at its National Gala. For the first time in two years, the event will be live in New York City and livestreamed throughout the country. I hope you can join us in person or online. It is always a pleasure to recognize people as deserving as the Wilfs.

And be on the lookout for many more exciting programs and events coming up in the next few months throughout our regions.

Your generous support makes it possible for Yad Vashem and ASYV to remain the leading global institution for Holocaust education, remembrance, research and documentation and ensures that Holocaust victims and destroyed communities are not forgotten.

Thank you very much for your ongoing interest and support. Enjoy the long holiday weekend.

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

August 26, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this finds you well.

This week’s Torah portion, Re’ei, begins with Moses announcing to the Jewish people, “Behold, I am presenting before you today a blessing and a curse.” He explains that following Torah commandments/mitzvahs brings blessing, while rejecting them in favor of other beliefs and lifestyles brings the opposite.

Many commentators noted the grammatical inconsistency in this opening verse, which begins in the singular form – “Behold/Re’ei”– and then immediately transitions to the plural form – “before you/lifneikhem.” Rav Zalman Sorotzkin, the Lutzker Rav and a major Torah leader of pre-war Poland and post-war Israel, offers an explanation in his book, Insights in the Torah/Oznayim La-Torah. He posits that, based on the Gemara’s famous teaching in Masekhet Kiddushin (40b), we must all imagine that a single action could tilt the scales of judgment either in the world’s favor or against it. We must understand that the world is precisely balanced between merits and demerits; a single good deed allows the world to continue, while a single misdeed would result in the world’s annihilation. Thus, we are to live with a sense of responsibility for the entire world, acknowledging the impact of our actions. Everyone is to view their personal choices as affecting everyone.

You should have received the Save the Date for the ASYV National Gala on November 3rd, honoring Beth and Lenny Wilf. The theme of the Gala is the Power of One. Beth & Lenny, through their decades of involvement with ASYV and Yad Vashem exemplify the Power of One. Under Lenny’s leadership, ASYV grew into a national organization that today attracts supporters from diverse backgrounds. Beth and Lenny understood that their decisions could have a profound impact–inspiring others to join them in Yad Vashem’s sacred work to educate, research, document and commemorate the Holocaust. We are grateful for the opportunity to recognize Beth and Lenny and invite you to join us in supporting the mission of Yad Vashem–each of us affirming the Power of One. Please see the Gala invitation below.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. 

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

August 19, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

In this week’s Torah portion, Eikev, Moses continues his second address, setting out in broad terms the principles of the covenant the Israelites made with G-d, and what it demands of them as a chosen nation in a Promised Land.

If they are faithful to the covenant, they will be blessed materially as well as spiritually. And, while Moses reminds them of their sins, he reminds them, too, of G-d’s forgiveness. In other words, G-d prompts us to be grateful.

Rachelle Grossman, ASYV’s Event Manager, is celebrating 20 years with ASYV this week.  She has seen us grow from a small “family” of committed individuals to a national organization with offices in California, Florida and New York, raising tens of millions of dollars over the years to support Yad Vashem’s work to educate, research, document and commemorate the Shoah. The daughter of two survivors, Rachelle is a devoted colleague, reliable team player and keeper of our institutional history.  Mazal tov to Rachelle on this milestone anniversary. We are grateful for her dedication and service to ASYV, and to Yad Vashem’s sacred mission.

Shabbat shalom,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

August 12, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

Last weekend was a difficult one; the escalation between Israel and Gaza terrorists raised fear among all of us and we are grateful it ended quickly with few Israeli casualties. On Saturday night/Sunday, we commemorated Tisha B’Av, the culmination of three weeks of mourning and bereavement.

This Friday, everything changes as we celebrate Tu B’Av, the holiday of love, or Jewish Valentine’s Day. On this day in ancient times, the daughters of Jerusalem would dress in white and dance in fields in search of a suitable spouse.

I’ve wondered why Tisha B’Av takes such a prominent place in our spiritual consciousness, while Tu B’Av has been marginalized to what our sages call in rabbinic Hebrew, keren zavit, the obscure corner. After doing some research, I learned that it has to do with the Halachic codes and the aftermath of the Holocaust. I decided to look into how Holocaust survivors viewed this holiday.

I found that Erich Fromm — one of the greatest psychoanalytic minds of the 20th century, a Holocaust survivor, and a towering Talmudist in his youth — examined love’s presence in humanity in his book, The Art of Loving.  Although exposed to more than his share of death and acts of genocide, Fromm observed that mankind steadfastly covets life. He concluded that our capacity for love was the force behind this strong yearning for life.

The first psalm Jews read during daily prayers is Psalm 30. We thank the Almighty for having “turned our eulogy into a dance.” This is what our people achieved when, some 800 days after the ovens in Auschwitz were shut down, the United Nations voted to establish the Jewish state of Israel.

We are all called upon to make this transition from death to life and love, despite the material and psychological challenges of life. The transition from Tisha B’Av to Tu B’Av, from death to love, is indeed the transition from a eulogy into a dance of Psalm 30.

It is time for us to reconsider Tu B’Av’s place in Jewish life. In an age of unprecedented political polarization and religious schism, all of humanity thirsts for this glorious, imperative transition from death to love.

In many ways, Yad Vashem, through the stories it pieces together of those who perished and those who survived, shows how love empowers humanity to rise above the weariness of our tragic collective history and the challenges of our increasingly volatile present.

We have the responsibility to ensure that the voices Yad Vashem represents remain strong and clear. Thank you for your partnership in this endeavor. It is holy work.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Tu B’Av,

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

August 5, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly update finds you and your family well.

I spent this past week in Israel. The main purpose of my trip was the visit of the Auburn University Basketball Team. I, along with Adina Burian, ASYV Co-Chair and her husband, Lawrence, who serves on ASYV’s Executive Committee, represented ASYV. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) established the Foreign Tour Program to enable universities with top ranked collegiate sports teams to compete overseas and to learn and experience the rich, unique culture of host countries. Bruce Pearl, the Auburn University basketball coached lobbied the NCAA to include Israel. This was their maiden trip, and Yad Vashem played a prominent role in their itinerary. Dani Dayan, Yad Vashem’s Chairman, welcomed the delegation warmly, sharing his own experience on the Civil Rights Trail when he was Israel’s Consul General in New York.

Watching the Auburn team experience Yad Vashem and seeing hundreds of educators filling the hallways of the International School for Holocaust Studies was remarkable—even more so knowing Tisha B’Av will be observed this coming weekend. Tisha B’Av commemorates the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the loss of the Jewish people’s sovereignty of the land of Israel over 2,500 years ago, as well as many other tragedies throughout the centuries.

I am reminded of a Talmudic story at the end of the Tractate Makkot 24b that had personal resonance for me this week:

Rabbis Gamliel, Ben Azarya, Yehoshua, and Akiva were ascending to Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple. When they saw the site of the Temple, they rent their garments in mourning, as is the tradition. When they saw a fox emerging from the Holy of Holies, Rabbis Gamliel, Ben Azarya and Yehoshua began weeping; Rabbi Akiva started to laugh. The rabbis asked Rabbi Akiva, “for what reason are you laughing?”

Rabbi Akiva explained that when God revealed the future to the prophet Isaiah, He called out two prophets—Uriah who prophesied during the First Temple period and Zechariah during the Second. Isaiah (8:2) establishes that fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah is dependent on fulfillment of the prophecy of Uriah.

In Uriah’s prophecy, it is written: “. . . for your sake Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become rubble, and the Temple Mount as the high places of a forest” (Micah 3:12), where foxes are found. Zechariah writes, “There shall yet be elderly men and elderly women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem” (Zechariah 8:4). Rabbi Akiva understands that since Uriah’s prophecy of the destruction of the city was fulfilled, so would the prophecy of Zechariah be fulfilled.

After finishing my work at Yad Vashem, my daughter and her children met me in Jerusalem at the restored train station in the Emek Refaim neighborhood. While riding the carousel with my grandchildren, I suddenly noticed elderly men and women sitting on benches enjoying a beautiful summer evening with children of all ages laughing and playing nearby. It struck me that after the terrible destruction of the Shoah, we are living Zechariah’s prophecy.

While Yad Vashem’s mission is to remember and teach the lessons of the Shoah, it also is the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy of a strong, vibrant Israel and Jewish community. It was an honor to share that with the Auburn basketball team.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and a meaningful Tisha B’Av.

Stanley H. Stone,

Executive Director

July 29, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly update finds you and your family well.

Recently, there has been no shortage of disturbing stories of rising antisemitism. This week alone, we read about the U.S. Department of Education investigating a concerted effort to harass a Jewish student at the University of Southern California (USC) and pressure on Maryland’s Montgomery county board to reject the adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IRHA) working definition of antisemitism.

But there is also a positive story to share this week—one that has the potential to make a tremendous impact. Under the leadership of Coach Bruce Pearl, The Auburn University men’s basketball team will travel to Israel this weekend for a 10-day Birthright-style trip, the first of its kind for a full Division I college or professional team. The itinerary is packed with visits to Jewish and Christian historic and biblical landmarks, including the City of David, the Western Wall, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Mount of Olives, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Three exhibition basketball games against teams of players from the top echelon of Israeli basketball are also scheduled.

And, importantly, the team will visit Yad Vashem.

When we learned about the trip, ASYV reached out to Auburn University and asked about including Yad Vashem on their itinerary—and the reaction was enthusiastically positive. I am honored to participate in this important visit next week alongside Adina Burian, ASYV Co-Chair, and her husband and ASYV Board member, Lawrence Burian, who will address the delegation. Dani Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem, will greet the group before the tour of the museum and Children’s Memorial.

Through its International School of Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem teaches not only about the Holocaust, but also how to teach it, resulting in a better understanding of its lessons and relevance in the 21st century. I have no doubt that the impact of the team’s visit will be felt for many years to come.

Thank you for ensuring that Yad Vashem can continue its vital work to educate people from all backgrounds during this time when it is most needed.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

July 22, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly update finds you and your family well.

In the summer of 1943, deportation of Jews to killing centers from Belgium, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, and Poland was significantly underway. At the same time though, armed resistance by Jews took place in the ghettos of Kletzk, Kremenets, Lakhva, Mir, Tuchin, and Weisweiz. These courageous acts resonated as I reviewed this week’s Torah portion—Pinchas, which is read in most synagogues outside of Israel.

The portion begins with G-d’s announcement that He is rewarding Pinchas, a grandson of Aaron, who ended the plague which G-d brought upon the Children of Israel during the sin of worshipping the local Moavite deity, Ba’al Pe’or. Pinchas heroically slays two public violators – the leader of the tribe of Shimon, and a Midyanite princess—at which point G-d suddenly ends the deadly plague. G-d declares that it is only because of Pinchas’ zealotry that He did not annihilate the Jewish people. He grants Pinchas His “covenant of peace/ beriti shalom” (25:12).

Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin (1816-1893), also known as the Netziv, explains in his commentary that ordinarily, committing such a violent act would profoundly affect a person’s character and make him more prone to rage and violence in the future. However, G-d promises Pinchas that since he acted with pure sincerity, he would retain his peaceful, kind character, and would not be adversely impacted by his violent act.

The Tolna Rebbe, Rabbi Yitzchak Menachem Weinberg, a noted scholar in Jerusalem, offers further insight into the “covenant of peace” which G-d gives to Pinchas suggesting that this reward proves that Pinchas acted with pure motives. Often, when people angrily protest and wage struggles against perceived wrongs, the cause for which they fight is simply an excuse, the opportunity these “warriors” find and seize upon to instigate conflict and controversy. Those individuals are driven not by a genuine desire to uphold proper beliefs and values, but rather by the thrill of controversy and the satisfaction of feeling superior to others. The test to determine a protestor’s sincerity is the way he responds when the cause has been resolved and there is no need for further protest. A sincere protestor feels gratified and welcomes the blessing of peace, the end of the controversy and the return to peaceful life. The insincere protestor, by contrast, feels disappointed at having lost the opportunity to wage conflict, and likely, would quickly find a different cause to take on, a new fight to wage.

The very fact that Pinchas regards peace as a reward testifies to the sincerity of his drastic act of killing the violators, not out of a propensity for violence, but out of a genuine desire to defend G-d’s honor. And so, G-d rewards Pinchas.

I would suggest that the covenant of peace extends to our survivors of the Shoah. Like Pinchas, they were forced to perform unimaginable acts out of character to save their families, friends and even strangers. And when this unspeakable period came to an end, they embraced life, their values and traditions—raising families, building communities and contributing to society. Our survivors deserve no less than the covenant of peace.

Thank you for all you do to ensure Yad Vashem can continue to tell these important stories.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

July 15, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly update finds you and your family well.

This week’s Torah portion outside Israel is Balak. We read the famous story of the prophet Bilam’s unusual experiences as he journeyed to Moav, the kingdom that hired him to place a curse upon the Jewish people. G-d sends an angel to obstruct Bilam’s path and on three occasions, the donkey Bilam rides either veers to one side, crouches or remains in place. Bilam responds on each occasion by striking the donkey. After the third time, G-d “opens the donkey’s mouth” (22:28) and speaks to Bilam, angrily protesting Bilam’s violence. Bilam responds that he would have killed the donkey if he had a sword, because of its disobedience. At this point, G-d enables Bilam to see the angel that stood in front of him, and the angel explains that the donkey’s path had been obstructed, whereupon Bilam admits he had acted badly. In the end, Bilam does not curse the Jewish people, and follows what G-d tells him to say. He begins his blessing to the Children of Israel with the famous pronouncement, How good are your tents, O Yaakov; your dwelling places, O Israel/Ma tovu ohalekha, Yaakov, mishkenotekha, Yisrael (24:5). Bilam praises the Children of Israel’s homes and the way they conduct their private affairs.

Upon seeing the Children of Israel encamped tribe by tribe, Bilam offers another blessing saying, they extend as streams/ki-nchalim nitav suggesting they are like a river, strong enough to flow constantly.

This past week, I had the pleasure of spending time on the West Coast with Chris Morton, our Director of Planned Giving, and with Sylvia Moskovitz, our Western Regional Director. We were joined by our Israeli colleagues, Dr. Haim Gertner, Director of International Relations and Chen Harkov, Director of the American Desk at Yad Vashem. I could not help but think of this beautiful blessing associated with a constantly flowing river. Despite busy vacation schedules, friends, both old and new, found time to meet with us. Some were survivors, some children of survivors and some with no direct connection to the Shoah, but all listened, asked questions and affirmed their support to Yad Vashem/ASYV.

In Israel, Yad Vashem had the honor to host President Biden on Wednesday. He wrote in the Yad Vashem guest book “It is a great honor to be back – back to my emotional home. We must never forget because hate is never defeated, it only hides. We must teach every successive generation that it can happen again unless we remember. “

Thanks to all of you, even under “summer” conditions, when we are not as actively engaged, your devotion remains strong–like the current of a river.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

July 8, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope you and your families are well.

I am sorry to note a tragedy this week once again. Our July 4th weekend was shattered when we heard about the terrible loss of life in Highland Park, IL. The Jewish community is only too aware of what can happen when unfettered hatred is allowed to fester. We are deeply troubled by the ongoing violence targeting innocent people. May the memories of all those lost be for blessings. We wish all those injured a full and speedy recovery.

ASYV is honored to recognize Leonard and Beth Wilf at our National Gala, which will take place on Thursday, November 3, 2022, in person in New York City and live streamed across the country. Lenny served as ASYV Chairman for 10 years dedicating himself to Holocaust education and commemoration. With Beth at his side, he unselfishly guided ASYV, strengthening and broadening ASYV’s reach and impact. The theme for the evening is The Power of One. At this difficult time, Lenny and Beth are shining examples of the difference each of us can make. Please mark your calendar. We hope you will join us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

 

July 1, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this email finds you well. Once again, I have the pleasure of writing to you from Israel. Also in Israel this week is Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, who is here to receive the Genesis Prize, also known as the Jewish Nobel Prize. Earlier this week, Dr. Bourla and his wife visited Yad Vashem. As the son of Holocaust survivors, it was an especially meaningful experience for him. You can read about the visit here. 

Reflecting on the visit, Dr. Bourla explained:

“Yad Vashem is not like any other place I have visited. It is an incredibly powerful and moving experience, and one that I will never forget. On the one hand, it is an essential reminder of what happens when antisemitism and hatred is left unchecked as well as the consequences of diminishing the value of human life. On the other hand, it highlights the experiences of the Jewish people during the Shoah while being deeply inspiring, with the courage and resilience of the survivors giving us hope and reminding us that we should treat each life as sacred and worth celebrating.” 

To me, Dr. Bourla’s remarks perfectly capture Yad Vashem’s unique agenda of telling the story of the Holocaust from the Jewish perspective, yet its lessons and meanings transcend our unique experience.  Yad Vashem doesn’t tell only stories of devastation, but also those of courage and resilience, of strength and hope.  

Thank you for all you do to ensure that Yad Vashem and ASYV can continue our mission to educate, research, document, and commemorate the Shoah. It is gratifying to know that its importance is recognized by the likes of Dr. Albert Bourla. 

Wishing everyone a Happy July 4th Independence Day.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

 

June 24, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this email finds you well. There is big news at Yad Vashem and ASYV. Thanks to the vision, leadership, and generosity of board members Marilyn and Barry Rubenstein and their family, Yad Vashem received funding for an exciting project—the creation of the Book of Names Traveling Exhibition. This new initiative, which Dani Dayan, Yad Vashem Chairman, has stated is a priority for Yad Vashem, is a singularly powerful experience of commemoration, illuminating victims’ names from the buried past and bringing them into the here and now.

The Book of Names is a remarkable installation which will contain 4.8 million Holocaust victims’ names: a tangible expression of Yad Vashem’s mission to remember the name of each and every individual Shoah victim. Yad Vashem’s goal is to continue its research to find the names of all 6 million victims and add them to this exhibit. The exhibition is designed to encompass both the individual identities of the Jewish men, women, and children and the inconceivable enormity of the tragedy. 

The Nazis sought to dehumanize the Jews—to turn them from individuals with names into numbers, to physically murder them and to systematically obliterate every memory of them from history. The name “Yad Vashem” is taken from a verse in the Book of Isaiah (56:5): “And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (a “Yad Vashem”) . . . that shall not be cut off. Naming the Holocaust memorial “Yad Vashem” emphasizes the importance of giving names to the Jewish victims who had no one to carry their name after death.  

Thanks to the Rubensteins and their family, the importance of restoring names and identities will be even more widely realized. On January 27, 2023, Yad Vashem will inaugurate the exhibition at the United Nations in observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. From the UN, it will travel to other cities and communities throughout the United States and worldwide.

Supporters like the Rubensteins, and everyone who contributes, ensure that Yad Vashem’s sacred mission remains relevant today and in the future. Our deepest thanks to the Rubensteins for their support and partnership in facilitating Yad Vashem’s mission.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

 

June 17, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

Each week, I begin this message with “Dear Family,” for I truly believe we are a family; that it is our collective responsibility and sacred duty to remember those brothers and sisters lost during the Shoah and to educate the next generations about its meanings and lessons as they relate to today.

For three decades, Zoya Pisarenko has been part of the Yad Vashem/ASYV family, serving as Director of Finance. More than a year ago, she shared her plans to step down. If you know Zoya and her commitment to Yad Vashem/ASYV, you will understand that she wanted ASYV to have a seamless transition. Zoya began her tenure with ASYV as Eli Zborowski’s, A’H, assistant. There was no task that Zoya did not do to further the mission of Yad Vashem/ASYV. Over the years, she grew into the position of Director of Finance. Despite moving up the ladder, Zoya remained the go-to logistics person in the office. Her practical “let’s solve this” approach ensured that everything ran smoothly from office operations to events. Her goal has always been to further Yad Vashem/ASYV’s mission. It will be hard to imagine what ASYV will be like when Zoya completes her dedicated service at the end of the month.

This week’s Torah portion, Behaalotekha, opens with Aaron expressing his disappointment at not contributing to the dedication of the Tabernacle as the other tribal leaders had. G-d reassures him that while he did not provide an object for dedication, he was given the responsibility to light the Menorah in the Tabernacle every day. The Rebbe of Modzitz notes that the Menorah, which was made from a single block of gold, represents unity and togetherness. By lighting the Menorah every day, Aaron brings people together and reminds them of their shared purpose. Like Aaron, Zoya has been behind the scenes bringing people together through ASYV. Thank you, Zoya, for your dedication and selflessness on behalf of Yad Vashem and ASYV. We wish you and your husband, Yefim, all the best as you embark on your next chapter.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

 

June 10, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

This has been a newsworthy week for Yad Vashem. It began with a tribute in the New York Times to Andree Geulen, a Righteous Among the Nations (RAN), who passed away at 100 years old. Ms. Geulen was a young Belgian teacher at an all-girls school in Brussels in the 1940s when her Jewish students were told that they had to sew yellow stars onto their uniforms, but one of the antisemitic decrees by the occupying Germans to identify and isolate Jews. In response, Ms. Geulen, in a show of solidarity, had all the girls in the class – Jews and non-Jews alike, put aprons on over their uniforms. As the war progressed, Ms. Geulen volunteered to help a clandestine group, the Committee for the Defense of Jews, dedicated to bringing Jewish children out of harm’s way. She was credited with saving 300 to 400 Jewish children ranging from newborns to teenagers. May her memory be a blessing.

And just yesterday, there was a historic meeting between Pope Francis and Dani Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem. While Pope Francis visited Yad Vashem (in 2014), as did his two predecessors (Popes John Paul II and Benedictus XVI), it was the first time a Yad Vashem Chairman had a private audience at the Vatican. The meeting focused on the critical importance of Holocaust remembrance in our contemporary world and on the ways in which the Church can contribute to meaningful and accurate remembrance.

These two events clearly illustrate the key role that Yad Vashem plays on the international stage as the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. It is only Yad Vashem that can confer the honor of Righteous Among the Nations. The private audience with Pope Francis ascribes to the esteem in which Yad Vashem is held.

As always, thank you for your continued interest and partnership. It is through your support that we ensure the memory of Andree Geulen and other RAN and keep Holocaust education and commemoration in the forefront of our collective priorities.

Please see below for the Save the Date for the ASYV National Gala honoring Lenny Wilf on Thursday, November 3rd in New York City and livestreamed throughout the country. I hope you will join us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

June 3, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

This week’s Torah portion, Bamidbar, describes how the Jewish people traveled in the desert. The interpretation of the text, Midrash (Bamidbar Rabba 2:8), explains that G-d instructed Moses to have the Jewish people travel and encamp in a set formation during their journey. Moses anticipated that the tribes would protest and argue over their positioning assignments, and thus wondered why G-d commanded a system that would likely lead to discord and infighting. G-d responded to Moses’s concerns explaining that the Jewish people were already familiar with this arrangement from Jacob’s funeral many years earlier, during which his sons surrounded his coffin in a particular formation– the precise formation that G-d wanted when the Jewish people traveled and encamped through the wilderness on their way to Israel.

Why did Moses anticipate arguing over the positions in the wilderness, and why did G-d compare the tribes’ encampment in the wilderness to Jacob’s sons’ formation as they transported his coffin?  One explanation is that Moses understood people’s natural fragility in stressful periods. If G-d began imposing demands and protocols during travel, when the Jewish people were likely tense and unsettled, the frustration and anxiety would overcome them and lead to fighting. Jacob’s funeral served as an example of when, even during a period of grief and uncertainty about the future, the brothers conducted themselves with dignity and marched in a peaceful, orderly fashion.  Despite charged emotions of anxiety and sorrow, harmony and stability prevailed.

The Midrash emphasizes the special effort that is required during times of transition in order to maintain one’s composure and relationships with others; through G-d’s command of a structured, orderly arrangement, the Midrash interprets the importance of dignity and poise in periods of hardship.

Refusing to abandon tradition and keeping order has anchored the Jewish people for 3,000 years. Our treasured Holocaust survivors found a way to have faith and strengthen traditions against all odds. A striking example is captured in a photograph that hangs in Yad Vashem’s Holocaust History Museum, of the 1945 Shavuot prayer service in the liberated Buchenwald camp in Germany. Leading the service was a young Jewish chaplain, Rabbi Herschel Schacter, z”l, who was amongst the camp’s liberators. Little did Rabbi Schacter know that the small boy sitting in the front row would grow up to be Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, a leading voice for Holocaust remembrance and education, and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council. See below for more information and a video of Rabbi Lau and Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, the son of Rabbi Herschel Schacter z”l.

Rabbi Lau noted years later, “We will never allow the torch of our Jewish tradition to be extinguished.  We will light it over and over, and pass it from one generation to another, so that the chain remains unbroken.”

Yad Vashem is committed to ensuring the torch of our Jewish tradition never goes out. Thank you for partnering with us in our mission.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shavout Sameach,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

May 27, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

Again, we begin this weekly update with a heavy heart as we grieve alongside the community of Uvalde, TX and all of those affected by Tuesday’s tragic event at Robb Elementary School. We wish a full recovery to those injured and may the memories of those lost be a blessing.

This Sunday, we will commemorate and celebrate the re-unification of Jerusalem. In 1967, Israel miraculously reunified Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. Shortly after that amazing victory, Eli Wiesel wrote the following piece:

Future generations will probably never believe it. Teachers will have a hard time convincing their students that what sounds legendary occurred. The children will, naturally, swallow each word, but later on, as adults, they’ll nod their heads and smile, remarking that these were fantasies of history. They won’t believe that this small state, surrounded by hatred, fire and murder, had so quickly managed a miracle. It will be hard to describe how, amid a sea of hatred, a tiny army drove off and humiliated several well-equipped military hordes of who knows how many Arab countries. How does acclaimed scholar and Talmudic genius Shaul Lieberman put it? In another 2,000 years, people will consider these events the way we think of descriptions of the Maccabees and their victories. Did I say another 2,000 years? No, make that in another year, or even tomorrow….

We all need to recite the Hallel thanksgiving prayer for being granted the privilege of witnessing these events. The battle has not yet ended, but the enemy has already retreated and won’t easily recover. It may well be that future generations won’t comprehend how Israel vanquished her enemies. Yes, there are sacrifices, but in the long run nothing gets lost. And yet the blood that was shed by our young lions, the sacrifices endured, everything will be inscribed. Each widow’s tear, every death rattle of the fallen soldiers – they won’t pass unnoticed by our descendants….”

This new Jewish awakening is part of that miracle, a part of the Jewish victory. Those who thought Jews were frightened by huge armies were mistaken, and those who thought you could separate the Jewish state from the Jewish people around the world clearly underestimated us.

Let’s take a moment to express our Jewish pride—to remember where we came from and the sacrifices we made to get where we are today. In the words of our Young Leadership Associates, “We are still here.”

Thank you for you support, your interest and commitment to Yad Vashem and ASYV. You are part of this miraculous story.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

May 20, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly update finds you and your family well.

This past week, we had the honor and pleasure of hosting Dani Dayan, Chairman of Yad Vashem and Dr. Haim Gertner, Managing Director of International Relations at Yad Vashem in New York City. On Tuesday evening, ASYV hosted an in-person event for members of ASYV’s Partners Circle. Dani Dayan and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, spoke about lessons of the Holocaust and confronting modern-day antisemitism. The conversation was superbly moderated by Michael Miller, CEO Emeritus of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York.

Yesterday marked Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer (the 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot), when the first fruits were brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. According to the Talmud, it was during this period that 24,000 of Rabbi Akivah’s students died from the plague–but on Lag B’Omer, the plague ceased for a day. According to Rabbinic tradition, the reason for the plague was that Rabbi Akivah’s students did not have enough regard for one another (Yevamot 62b).

One of the most intense periods of the Shoah took place during the Omer of 1944, when the Germans invaded Hungary and deported and murdered 437,302 people. Ironically, during this year’s 2022 Omer, a white supremacist gunman walked into a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, killing ten people of color and injuring three others. The spate of racially motivated killings is a modern-day plague that stems from lack of regard for others. Just as the Nazis and their collaborators lacked regard for the Jews, that disregard continues today toward people of color and ethnic minorities.

Yad Vashem was established as a reminder to the Jewish people and the world of what can happen when we lack regard for one another and allow hatred to fester. Thanks to your continued support, Yad Vashem is a critical global resource in educating countless people about lessons of the Shoah and fighting hatred and bigotry. May the lessons of the Shoah and the lessons of Rabbi Akivah continue to remind and inspire us to regard others with respect and understanding. And, may every day be like Lag B’Omer.

Thank you for all that you do to support Yad Vashem and its mission.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

May 13, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope you and your family are well.

Last week, Israel commemorated Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron, and celebrated Independence Day, Yom Haatzmaut. The week before, we marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah, as Yad Vashem does every year with a moving ceremony on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. Additionally, Yad Vashem marked another notable event that I want to let you know about: the official dedication of a special facility in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) “city” of training bases, called “Ir Habahadim” located just south of Beersheba.

This is the first center Yad Vashem opened beyond the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem and the first time the IDF has allowed an external institution to operate a permanent educational program from within an army base. The new facility has been designed specifically to engage young people, learning to defend their country. Young soldiers will gain a better understanding of the Jewish world that existed before the Holocaust and get to explore enduring values such as Jewish identity, leadership, and heroism. They will come away inspired and with a deeper sense of purpose as defenders of the Jewish people in the land of Israel.

I invite you to read about this new facility in The Times of Israel and JNS.

I hope that you share our pride in what Yad Vashem is doing to not only remember the past but also to educate and inspire generations to come, so that the world will never forget.

Thank you for all that you do to support Yad Vashem and its mission.

Shabbat Shalom,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

May 6, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly message finds you and your family well.

On Wednesday, Israel commemorated Memorial Day/Yom HaZikaron and yesterday celebrated its 74th birthday on Independence Day/Yom Ha’Atzmaut. The connection between the two holidays is stark; one would not be if not for the other. Holocaust survivors, who had only recently become free, played an important role in the establishment of the State of Israel. Such individuals are heroic examples of resilience and renaissance.

Yitzhak Arad was one of these survivors. Born in Swieciany, Poland (present day Lithuania) in 1926, he was living in Warsaw when the war broke out. In September 1941, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Jews of his town were taken to killing pits. Arad managed to escape and sneak back into the town’s ghetto, where he worked in a munitions warehouse. He began to smuggle weaponry and helped form an underground movement within the ghetto. In February 1943, he escaped to a nearby forest, where he joined the Soviet partisans until the end of the war. Together, they fought the Germans and their collaborators in the Narocz Forest of Belarus and in eastern Lithuania, for which Arad received the highest partisan award.

In December 1945, Arad immigrated to Eretz Israel on the illegal immigrant ship “Hannah Szenes.” He served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) primarily in the armored brigade. His last appointment was IDF Chief Education Officer and he retired in 1972. Dr. Arad went on to become Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate and a senior Holocaust research scholar, working diligently to commemorate the Holocaust and establishing the Valley of the Communities on the Mount of Remembrance. He passed away in May 2021 at the age of 95. May his memory be a blessing.

The lunar cycle strongly represents the fate of the Jewish people; the moon grows to fullness over a period of 15 days and then declines for the next 15 until it disappears. Suddenly, a new cycle begins. To the survivors who had just come out of unspeakable darkness, they embraced the light of the State of Israel and contributed to its miraculous growth. Today, historians look at Israel through three stages: 1948 and the reestablishment of sovereign Israel; 1967 and the Six Day War when the State remained small and vulnerable; and lastly, but most importantly, Israel’s rise to prominence in technology and science to advance human prosperity.

May Israel continue to be a light unto the nations/Ohr Lagoyim. Thank you for the vital role you play in ensuring it will. Happy birthday, Israel!

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director

April 29, 2022

Dear ASYV Family,

I hope this weekly message finds you and your family well and that you had a wonderful Passover. I am privileged to be in Israel on the Yad Vashem/ASYV Mission of Dedication & Commemoration. This first mission of its kind has been an opportunity to learn in-depth about the amazing work of Yad Vashem and to participate in two significant ceremonies—one ensuring the future, the other remembering the past. Please indulge this longer message; the mission has given me so much to think about.

The mission began with the dedication of the Yad Vashem Center at the Ariel Sharon IDF Training Base (Ir Habadim) in the Negev. There, combat support soldiers from various backgrounds are given an opportunity, using sophisticated technology and a unique pedagogy, to learn about the Holocaust and how it shapes their roles in the army. The impact of this experience on the soldiers is simply remarkable. On Wednesday evening, we were privileged to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, at the official ceremony at Yad Vashem led by Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. This emotional ceremony included the lighting of six torches by six survivors whose stories were shared. Each story was moving and reinforced the heroism of the survivors. It was not lost on me that we are nearing the end of being able to have survivors participate this important event. Shmuel Blumenfeld was to be one of the torch lighters; two weeks ago, he passed away, leaving his son to light the torch. May his memory be a blessing.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, as the memorial siren sounded at 10:00 AM, I joined with everyone standing in silence, thinking about my paternal grandparents, Hulda & Issak Steinberger, who were deported and killed in the Riga Ghetto; I thought about how lucky I was to be in the strong and independent State of Israel.

Over the past three months with the events unfolding in Ukraine, I have asked myself the question that many theologians, philosophers, and survivors have asked: Do you have faith in humanity after the Holocaust? Rabbi Sacks z”l notes that the Holocaust represented perhaps the greatest failure humanity has ever known. It featured the combination of technical brilliance and bureaucratic efficiency but was dedicated to the evilest of all purposes–truly the greatest failure of humanity. However, the Avenue of Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem restores our faith; today, 28,000 people are honored there, those who put their own lives at risk to save the lives of their neighbors and, in some cases, strangers. We have not forgotten. Today, Israel has been at the forefront responding to the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, establishing the first field hospital, providing millions of dollars in humanitarian aid, and taking in thousands of Jewish and non-Jewish refugees.

Many thanks to the mission participants, ASYV leaders, and donors who were in Israel for these meaningful ceremonies. I would like to extend special thanks to Andrea and Loren Weiss, Mission Chairs and Amy Cooper, ASYV National Campaign Director, who coordinated this program, as well as my colleagues at Yad Vashem for putting together an incredibly moving and informative four days.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day and every day, we remember the events of the past but also look forward to a brighter future. We honor the survivors and embrace our responsibility as the living links to their testimonies and experiences. As always, thank you for your continued support of our critical work.

Please see below for what’s coming up, what you may have missed, and Yad Vashem in the news.

Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem,

Stanley H. Stone

Executive Director