FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG TO LEAD AMERICAN DELEGATION TO ISRAEL FOR INAUGURATION OF YAD VASHEM’S NEW HOLOCAUST HISTORY MUSEUM
Mayor Designated as Head of United States Presidential Delegation
Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel Designated as Special Representative of the Secretary of State
On Tuesday and Wednesday, March 15 -16, 2005, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will be in Israel for the dedication of Yad VaShem’s new Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem. The inaugural events will take place over two days hosted by the President of the State of Israel Moshe Katzav and in the presence of dozens of world leaders. The Mayor will head the U.S. Presidential delegation whose members include The Honorable Daniel Kurtzer, Ambassador of the U.S. to the State of Israel, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, Founder and President of Hineni International, Mrs. Norma Lerner, Owner of the Cleveland Browns, Rabbi Isaac Neuman, Rabbi Emeritus at Sinai Temple, Professor Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate, Author and Founder of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity and The Honorable Fred S. Zeidman, Chairman of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
“As Mayor of the City with the largest Holocaust survivor populations in the world outside of the State of Israel, I am honored to be leading this historic delegation on behalf of President Bush,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As we approach the 60th anniversary since the end of one of human history’s darkest chapters, we must never forget the atrocities that were committed. Sadly, we have entered into a period where we will lose many of the last remaining eyewitnesses to the Holocaust, and soon the burden will rest on future generations to honor and preserve the memory of the six million Jewish souls who were murdered. Yad VaShem’s new Holocaust History Museum will serve an important role in honoring that memory, confronting history, and teaching one of the most important lessons, if not the most important lesson, we as human beings can learn: tolerance.”
In addition, former Mayor Edward I. Koch, City Councilmember Simcha Felder, Holocaust Survivor and Elmhurst, Queens resident Henna Hirshaut, Executive Committee Member of the American and International Societies for Yad Vashem and Executive Vice President & CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York Michael S. Miller, “JM in the AM” and “The Nachum Segal Show” Radio Host Nachum Segal, and Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit Commissioner Jonathan Greenspun will join the Mayor for this historic trip.
Yad VaShem is the Holocaust memorial of the Jewish people located on Har Hazikaron (the Mount of Remembrance) in Jerusalem. It was established in 1953 by an act of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) and includes a complex of museums, monuments, research, teaching and resource centers to remember and teach about the events of the Holocaust, which spanned the years 1933 to 1945. Four times the size of the current museum, the new Holocaust History Museum combines the best of Yad VaShem’s expertise, resources and state-of-the-art exhibits. It occupies over 4,200 square meters, mainly underground, and presents the story of the Holocaust through the experiences of the individual victims with original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions. For more information, visit http://www1.yadvashem.org/new_museum/overview.html.
This is the fourth time that Mayor Bloomberg has traveled to Israel since being elected. In December of 2001, he traveled there as Mayor-elect with Governor Pataki and Mayor Giuliani. In August of 2003, he made a trip to show solidarity with the people of Israel after the attack on the #2 Egged bus on Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem. And in November of 2003, he traveled with his mother to dedicate a new wing at Hadassah hospital in honor of her 95th birthday. New York City is home to the largest population of Jews outside of the State of Israel with 1.1 million Jews living in the five boroughs.
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958