Jerusalem, Israel - July 8, 2024  - Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, held the opening of The Moshal Shoah Legacy Campus and The David and Fela Shapell Family Collections Center, located on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, Israel, on July 8, 2024.

The day before the scheduled gala opening with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and major donors, the Jerusalem Press Club organized a private media tour of the impressive new building. 

At the heart of The Moshal Shoah Legacy Campus is The David and Fela Shapell Family Collections Center. The state-of-the-art facility is the world’s most advanced repository for the collection, preservation, restoration, and storage of Holocaust-related materials, including documents, photographs, testimonies, artifacts, artworks, and the world-renowned Pages of Testimony collection, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Each item carefully collected and preserved tells a unique story. The stories of individuals, families, and communities that endured the tragic events of the Holocaust and those who did not.

The new center is equipped with cutting-edge technologies to ensure the optimal preservation of these invaluable national treasures. An oxygen reduction system prevents fires, while climate supervision, air filtration, and digital control systems maintain ideal storage conditions for the various artifacts. For example, paper and photographs require different humidity settings. 

Entering the lobby of the new building, constructed with attention to detail, is a video art wall created by video artist Ran Slavin, curated by Yad Vashem Director of Museums Collections and Archives Medy Schwed and sponsored by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation. The video art wall entitled "122,499 Files" is a unique installation, showcasing over 100,000 artifacts, artworks, photographs and documents from Yad Vashem's collections, many of which are too delicate and fragile to be displayed. The innovative work includes many items being viewed for the first time. 

Yad Vashem holds approximately 227.6 million pages of documentation, 2.8 million Pages of Testimony, 541,500 Holocaust-era photographs, 31,000 artifacts, and 14,000 works of art. Each item represents a personal story from the Shoah.

The advanced laboratories handle all aspects of preservation from registration to storage to conservation; both for the museum's use and archival purposes, ensuring that each item is treated with the utmost care and made accessible for future generations. The delicate piecing together of a prison uniform so the tears appear to remain, but do not disintegrate i the future, and an intricate piece from a tallis were on display in the textile lab. The fine Japanese paper used to restore paper, not to look new, but as it was before, was explained in the lab specializing in paper. People during the Shoah used what they had to create, a scrap of linoleum and whatever materials they could find. Large oil paintings were rare, and could be on top of another work said the Yad Vashem specialist trained in Paris. 

Simmy Allen head of International media, and international affairs and communications led the tour. He pointed out a multitude of details that went into the planning, design, and construction of the 5-story structure has four below ground, so as to not be higher than the original structure of the Hall of Remembrance. Allen emphasized the commitment to carefully protect the artifacts, mostly from private homes, and the stories behind them, Yad Vashem's responsibility to preserve Jewish legacy for future generations. 

The photo essay begins entering Yad Vashem, with a look into the Hall of Remembrance, and includes scenes from the various labs mentioned that are not available to the public.