It is the pioneer of Holocaust Museums worldwide, and one which since its inception in 1953, has dedicated itself to recovering the names and identities of every Jewish person murdered in the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem is the Jewish people's living memorial to the Holocaust, visited by nearly one million people annually. More than 850 of those visits every year are made by world leaders, dignitaries and official visitors. President Obama's visit in March 2013, made him the fifth sitting US president to make the solemn journey of remembrance.
A just-issued legal tender coin marking Yad Vashem's 60th anniversary is, according to Aviv Katz, CEO of Israel Coins and Medals Corporation (ICMC), “a poignant reminder of the past horrors of the Holocaust, while at the same time, a firm expression of the continuity and rebirth of the Jewish people in the modern State of Israel.”
A design of Yossi Lemel, the coin depicts a simple striped shirt with the yellow Star of David that the Nazis forced Jews to wear. Dominating a blank field behind the shirt is a bolder and larger Star of David rising in the background that is a statement of “Am Yisroel Chai" (the people of Israel live). The other side bears the Israel State Emblem, "Israel" in English, Hebrew and Arabic, the date and mint mark.
Part of proceeds from sales of coin donated to Yad Vashem
The Yad Vashem coin, which also serves as Israel's 65th anniversary coin, is available in three variations: Gold proof-quality with a face value of NIS 10 ($2.80), 30 mm diameter with 16.96 grams of .917 fine (22kt) gold in a limited mintage of no more than 555 pieces, and two sterling silver coins - a proof-quality NIS 2 coin measuring 38.7 mm (1½ in.) and weighing 28.8 grams with mintage restricted to 2,800 coins, and a 30mm, 14.4 gram 1 NIS coin in proof-like condition, limited to 1,800 coins.
A set of all three coins and one with just the two silver ones are also available. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the coins is being donated by ICMC to Yad Vashem,.
Current pricing, secure ordering, and more information is available online at www.israelmint.com. To order by phone, or to receive information by mail call toll-free in the USA 1-888-421-1866, email email@example.com, or write Israel Coins and Medals Corporation (ICMC), P.O. Box 2040, Nesher 36680, Israel. Tel. 972-4-821-2807 (Fax orders: 011-972-4-821-2818). The medal is also on sale at ICMC stores in Israel, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba and Raanana.
The book of Isaiah (56:5) says: "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." Yad Vashem is thus literally "a memorial and a name," and while devoted to the memory of the past, it also has a mission to impart its meaning for future generations.
Established by the Knesset 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.
The Yad Vashem Pages of Testimony Memorial Repository has recently been included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. In sixty years, 2.6 million names have been documented by Yad Vashem on Pages of Testimony, which together with other documentation have allowed Yad Vashem to identify so far, by name 4.2 million out of the six million victims of the Holocaust.
The Pages of Testimony Memorial Repository is housed in the Hall of Names at Yad Vashem.