First established in 1953, Yad Vashem is known as the “Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust.” Its vast complex allows guests of all ages, religious and ethnic backgrounds to learn about the Holocaust through its documentation, research, education and commemoration facilities. Thousands of Israelis and tourists visit Yad Vashem each day. Yad Vashem also serves as the location of Israel’s annual national Holocaust Memorial Day Ceremony.
Best known among its facilities is the Holocaust History Museum with original pictures and artwork, first-hand testimonials given by Holocaust survivors and personal objects presented to the museum. The new breathtaking glass museum building was completed after a decade of construction and enables light to reach the multidisciplinary exhibits featured throughout its unique 4,200 square meter building. Permanent galleries include The World That Was, From Equals to Outcasts, Between Walls and Fences, The Last Jews, Resistance and Rescue, and more; a variety of temporary exhibits are on display as well. The museum complex also features the Art Museum, Exhibitions Pavilion, Learning Center, Visual Center, Synagogue and a Central Database of Victims’ Names, with over 3.1 out of 6 million names on file. Monuments, including the Eternal Flame in the Hall of Remembrance are placed among the complex’s museum buildings.
Yad Vashem also houses the largest Holocaust-related archive, library and arts collections in the world. Its International Institute for Holocaust Research supports and coordinates Holocaust research worldwide and also has a Publications Department.
The International School for Holocaust Studies is also located on the Yad Vashem grounds. Since 1993, it has been leading and creating Holocaust-related educational programs and materials for schools around the world. The school hosts over three hundred thousand students, military professionals, tourists and educators in its center each year.
The Yad Vashem site is open Sunday to Wednesday from 9am until 5pm, Thursdays until 8pm. It is open on Friday and holiday eves from 9am until 2pm and are closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. The Yad Vashem Archives and Library are open Sunday through Thursday from 8:30am until 5pm.
Admission to Yad Vashem Museum Complex is free. No prior reservation for individuals is required. Private group tours must be booked in advance. Audio guides are available for the Holocaust History Museum in seven languages; they are available at the visitors’ center for a 20 shekel rental fee. Children under the age of 10 are not permitted to enter the museum complex.