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Ford Foundation makes $1 million grant for Yad Vashem trees

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Ford Foundation is giving $1 million to maintain the Righteous Among the Nations trees of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

The grant to preserve and protect the trees, which was announced Thursday, is honoring the 50th anniversary of the Righteous Among the Nations program at Yad Vashem. More than 24,800 individuals who helped Jews during the Holocaust have been recognized with the designation.

Some 2,000 trees have been planted on Yad Vashem’s Mount of Remembrance, as well as across its campus in Jerusalem, in honor of the rescuers of Jews.

“As we stand here today in this place of beauty and peace, we honor all those who have the courage to strive for justice in times of profound injustice,” said Luis Ubinas, the president of the Ford Foundation. “May this space honoring the Righteous Among the Nations stand for centuries to come as a reminder that each of us has a responsibility to act in the face of injustice, that each of us must have the courage to challenge oppression.”

The Ford Foundation has supported the work of Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations department since 2006, according to the memorial.

A JTA investigative report in 2003 found that the Ford Foundation had supported several pro-Palestinian NGOs that promoted anti-Semitism at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

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