The visa exemption deal between Russia and Israel will go into effect this fall.
The Tourism Ministry in Jerusalem announced Tuesday that, as of Oct. 1, Russians will no longer need a visa to visit Israel. A similar exemption will come into play for Israelis visiting Russia.
“Given the increased traffic from Russia during the past few months and the expectations and interest of large tourism wholesalers as a result of the new agreement, the number of tourists from Russia could double or even triple in the coming years,” the ministry said in a statement.
In 2007, Russia became the second-largest source of tourism for Israel.
More than 700 educators from around the world are attending an anti-racism conference at Yad Vashem.
“Teaching the Shoah: Fighting Racism and Prejudice,” which opened Monday and runs through Thursday in Jerusalem, is designed to promote dialogue among educators dealing with the challenges of Holocaust education in countries with large multi-ethnic populations.
Some of the 164 workshops will deal with teaching the Holocaust in Rwanda, the challenge of Holocaust education for students with a Muslim background, and using the Anne Frank diary to combat prejudice in the classroom.
The conference at Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum has attracted participants from 52 countries.
“The unprecedented response that brought 700 educators to the conference is a result of the awareness that Holocaust education is vitally important for shaping a future generation, and strengthens the commitment to the struggle against anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice — widespread phenomena in multicultural societies,” said Dorit Novak, the director of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. Among the Israelis speaking at the conference are Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Minister of Social Affairs Yitzhak Herzog; Natan Sharansky, a former minister and Knesset member; Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv and a former chief rabbi of Israel; and Yehuda Bauer, academic adviser to Yad Vashem.