Dani Dayan Appointed New Yad Vashem Chairman

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chairs the weekly Cabinet meeting, as Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (L) looks on, in Yerushalayim on Sunday. (Gil Cohen-Magen/Pool via Reuters)

Dani Dayan was appointed as the new Yad Vashem chairman on Sunday at the Cabinet meeting.

Yad Vashem announced that Dayan, 65, was tapped as chairman of the organization’s directorate. Until recently, Dayan served as Israel’s consul general in New York. Before that, he headed the Yesha council, an umbrella organization representing Jewish residents living in Yehudah and Shomron.

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, serves as both a museum and research institution. It’s a venerable body that hosts foreign dignitaries who arrive in Israel, welcomes nearly one million visitors each year and leads the country’s annual Holocaust memorial day.

Dayan’s appointment came more than a year after longtime director Avner Shalev announced his retirement.

Despite calls by an umbrella group representing Holocaust survivors that Yad Vashem appoint a director with a background in Holocaust research, Dayan was nominated for the position earlier this month by Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton.

The Argentina-born Dayan ran in March 23 parliamentary elections with the New Hope party, but he did not win a seat in the Knesset.

“Leading Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is more than a position; it is a mission and one I take on with awe and reverence,” Dayan said in a statement.

He said the institution’s job is to educate and research, as well as combat misinformation about the Holocaust, “in order to safeguard the memory of the Shoah and to ensure that the Jewish people and humanity will forever continue to remember this event.”