TAU Professor Named Chief Historian by Yad Vashem Thursday, July 7, 2011
Scholar Dina Porat brings deep expertise to Israel's Holocaust museum
Prof. Dina Porat
Prof. Dina Porat, head of Tel Aviv University's Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry and Alfred P. Slaner Chair for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism, has been named the new Chief Historian of the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem, one of the world's leading institutions dedicated to the study of the Holocaust, starting in October 2011.
Prof. Porat steps into the role vacated by Prof. Dan Michman, who is replacing Prof. David Ben-Kier as the Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research. "Prof. Ben-Kier is a researcher of the first class, and a unique personality who cannot really be replaced," says Prof. Porat with characteristic modesty. "Both Prof. Michman and I in our new roles will do our best."
Her chief responsibilities will be the planning and development of ideas for the museum's activities, education programs, conferences and research.
The former Head of the Chaim Rosenberg Jewish Studies Department at Tel Aviv University said that she was honored by her new appointment and will endeavor to live up to the heavy responsibility of approaching not only the history of the Holocaust, but also its implications for contemporary history. "Today, the Holocaust is not only being presented as we already know it, but it's also being denied, diminished or attacked as being too central to the Jewish people," Prof. Porat said. "Facing the ways that the Holocaust today is used or misused will be my responsibility."
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev said that he is confident that the Institute and Yad Vashem will continue to be a hub of profound dialogue and research on all aspects of the Holocaust under the leadership of Profs. Michman and Porat, and that their cutting-edge research will advance our understanding.