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International Grants

Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority

Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority

The Holocaust is a turning point in the history of the Jewish people with a profound impact on Jewish and Israeli identity for several generations now. An understanding of general Jewish history and awareness of the Holocaust to help form a national identity among Russian-speaking Jews around the world.

Since 2008, Genesis Philanthropy Group has been supporting projects whose goal is to study and disseminate information about the Holocaust.

The International School for Holocaust Studies, together with Genesis Philanthropy Group in Israel, offers a special educational program for the state-run Masa Israel Journey project. This project is aimed at Russian-speaking participants who wish to learn more about the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. The program is designed to bolster Jewish identity and forge a connection to the rich Jewish heritage of the region. Students visit several museum halls and attend lectures with an emphasis on Soviet Jewry prior to World War Two and its fate in the Holocaust.

"Memory Keepers" is a documentary by Boris Maftsir about the untold story of the Holocaust. It is the first part of a larger project on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union. It was filmed in 160 cities, towns and villages across Belarus where Maftsir was searching for witnesses to the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust. He collected these first-hand testimonies to help refute the myth that the Holocaust never took place.

The special edition of the quarterly magazine prepared by Yad Vashem Memorial Complex presents a retrospective of the five years of cooperation between Yad Vashem and Genesis Philanthropy Group which, in the words of Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, “has made a “quiet revolution” in the knowledge and understanding of the Shoah through creative educational programs, in-depth research and the use of the latest technological tools”.

Please download “The Shoah in the Soviet Union” Special Edition, July 2014 in English and in Hebrew

Goals and Objectives

  • Disseminate knowledge about the Shoah among Russian-speaking Jews in the world.
  • Develop special educational programs in Israel and the Diaspora to study Holocaust history.
  • Strengthen the national identity of Russian-speaking repatriates from the FSU by studying the Holocaust and the heroism of the Jewish people.
  • Develop innovative methods for working with teenagers and young adults to prevent and minimize neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic attitudes among youth.
  • Preserve Jewish heritage and transmit it to future generations.

Lifting the Iron Curtain: Unknown Stories of the Shoah on the Territory of the Former USSR

In 2008, Yad Vashem The National Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority (Yad Vashem), established a longitudinal program, Lifting the Iron Curtain: Unknown Stories of the Shoah in the Former Soviet Territories, intended for a wide audience of Russian-speaking Jews around the world.

Since 2008, in cooperation with the European Jewish Fund and other partners, this project:

  • Acquired approximately one million rare documents from archives in the FSU;
  • Opened two exhibitions in Moscow dedicated to Holocaust history: Zinovy Tolkachev's original works from the Yad Vashem Museum and a poster exhibition, Not a Children's Game;
  • Launched a traveling poster exhibition, A Bitter Taste of Victory: The Holocaust Through the Eyes of Jewish Red Army Soldiers, and related educational programs;
  • Opened a research center dedicated to the study of Soviet Jews during the Holocaust;
  • Published two collections of Yad Vashem research articles (available in hard copy as well as electronically) and a special edition photography book depicting the lives of Holocaust survivors;
  • Published a non-fiction book by Dr. Yitzhak Arad on Jewish soldiers;
  • Published a special edition album, Victory and Memory (in cooperation with a group of veterans and disabled veteran partisans);
  • Organized a series of conferences for 500 participants on the history of Operation Barbarossa;
  • Organized a symposium for junior researchers from Israel, the FSU, Europe and North America;
  • Launched new research projects on the Shoah, including two major ones – "Red Army Press on the Holocaust" and "Events Commemorating Shoah Victims, 1950-1980";
  • Compiled an online bibliography on the Holocaust comprised of 8,000 sources;
  • Launched a series of YouTube lectures by leading researchers on the Shoah and the consequences of its denial;
  • Created an interactive Russian website which provides access to information modules on the Holocaust in the FSU;
  • Created a distance-learning course, "The Shoah in the Former Soviet Territories";
  • Developed a multi-faceted program of formal and informal education in Haifa;
  • Introduced specialized, intensive courses on the Shoah in the FSU in a number of Israeli schools with a significant percentage of Russian-speaking students;
  • Organized five 10-day seminars in Israel dedicated to the study of the Shoah specifically for young Jewish leaders from the FSU (in cooperation with the Liaison Bureau in the FSU and the Baltic States), students and graduate students of Ukrainian pedagogical universities, museum employees from Belarus and high school students from Moscow Jewish schools;
  • Organized educational seminars for 650 Jewish educators and students in the FSU;
  • Created a 20-minute documentary of Holocaust testimonies by Soviet survivors;
  • Organized educational seminars for high school students and teachers in Israel;
  • Developed a specialized course for educators in the Nativ program;
  • Regularly published essays and reviews on the "Shoah of European Jewry: Unknown Pages" on popular social networking sites;
  • Created an online database of the Righteous Among the Nations, including more than 2,400 Ukrainian Righteous Gentiles;
  • Provided regular guided tours of the Yad Vashem Museum for Russian-speaking visitors;
  • Organized a competition for projects on studying and disseminating knowledge of the Shoah. In 2011, 19 projects were chosen from among 200 applicants;
  • Organized a number of research and educational projects by Hillel CASE, Hillel Russia, and Sefer, in cooperation with the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue Museum in Moscow;
  • Organized a visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial Complex for more than 200 delegates of the 12th World Congress of Russian Press in 2010.