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A New Beginning for Yad Vashem - Sari Granitza

Christian Friends of Yad Vashem

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23 Aug 2019 (All day)
A New Beginning for Yad Vashem - Sari Granitza

In early May, Israel will mark Yom HaShoah – the nation’s annual Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is a solemn occasion with many unique traditions which pay tribute to the six million victims of the Holocaust. There is no entertainment on television. Movie theatres and dance clubs are closed. In the morning, a nationwide siren brings all traffic to a complete stop and everyone stands to attention. And the president, prime minister and other senior leaders assemble at Yad Vashem to lay wreaths in honour of those who perished in the Nazi genocide against the Jews.

For Christians, a new tradition has developed around Yom HaShoah as well. The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, through its unique partnership with Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, helps sponsor an annual Christian Leadership Seminar during the week of Holocaust Remembrance Day. This special educational program draws Christian pastors and ministry leaders from all over the world to Yad Vashem for a week of lectures by experts on the Holocaust and antisemitism, encounters with Holocaust survivors, and related field trips around the country.

This year’s Christian Leadership Seminar will be the first one held under the new Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem, Ms. Sari Granitza. She has been working in the International Relations Division at Yad Vashem since 2003 and took over the reins of the Christian Desk from Dr. Susanna Kokkonen in mid-2018.

Ms. Granitza was born into an observant Jewish family in Jerusalem and was raised both in Israel and the United States. She received her BA in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Haifa and her MBA from Tel Aviv University. For ten years, she worked in Israel’s thriving hi-tech industry. From there, she assisted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in foreign relations during his first term in the premiership in the late 1990s, developing key contacts with government officials and leaders in the Jewish Diaspora from around the globe.

Ms. Granitza now comes into her new position with 15 years of valuable experience in building support for Yad Vashem and explaining its important mission to a variety of audiences. As Deputy Director of the International Relations Division, she was involved in every aspect of the events and visits of Yad Vashem’s supporters from around the world, including many Christian leaders throughout the years. She also frequently presented lectures on the Holocaust in both Hebrew and English, including on behalf of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem at prestigious events, such as the National Religious Broadcasters convention in the US. Ms. Granitza was also responsible for planning and executing Yad Vashem’s International Missions to Europe and Israel, hosting donors of all faiths, backgrounds and nationalities.

Having lost family members in the Holocaust, Ms. Granitza takes her job very seriously. As an ambassador for Yad Vashem to the Christian world, she will continue to promote Holocaust education as an important means for ensuring that the atrocities of the Shoah never happen again.

Founded in 1953 by an act of Israel’s parliament, Yad Vashem was entrusted with the mission of safeguarding the memory of Jewish victims of the Holocaust and imparting its meaning to future generations. Christian Friends of Yad Vashem was established in October 2006 in cooperation with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem to raise awareness about the Holocaust and its universal lessons within the Christian world. Today, CFYV is active in many countries worldwide and works with a variety of denominations and Christian ministries to build bridges between Jews and Christians.

To read more about Sari Granitza, check out this interview!

 

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