Established in 1951 and officially known as Yom Hazikaron LaShoah V’lagvurah (Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day), this holiday is a solemn day when many Jewish communities hold special ceremonies to honor the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.
Yom HaShoah begins at sunset, April 7 // Observed April 8, 2021
Opportunities to Honor
Honor of the millions of people who perished in the Holocaust through reflection and action for Yom HaShoah. Celebrate the bravery, resilience and creativity of the heroes and communities who survived and continue to thrive around the world today.
Here are a selection of ways to commemorate Yom HaShoah on your own, with family and friends or with community this year.
- Light a 24-hour memorial candle starting in the evening of Wednesday April 7. If you don’t have one, light any candle to honor those who perished in the Holocaust.
- Remember loved ones by contributing their names to be read at the Bay Area Yom HaShoah Commemoration on Wednesday, April 7. Submit names here.
- Join the JFCS Holocaust Center’s Bay Area’s Virtual Yom HaShoah Commemoration and Days of Learning on Wednesday, April 7 thru Friday, April 9. Schedule details and RSVP here.
- Discuss the docudrama “No Place on Earth” and learn from the film’s director, historians, and survivor’s family members in a panel conversation on April 6. RSVP for a complimentary link to the film and online discussion here.
- Read powerful fiction and nonfiction stories that illuminate the heroism and the horror of the Holocaust. This Scholastic booklist is curated especially for Grades 1 – 12, with many selections meaningful for adults too.
- Teach your children about the Holocaust to build a next generation made up of kind, empathetic, and inclusive individuals. Use this guide for age-appropriate ways to approach this conversation with young children.
- Listen to survivors tell their own story in this incredible collection of over 1000 interviews collected by the Yiddish Book Center Oral History Project.
- Make a butterfly, a symbol of freedom from oppression, to remember the lives of the children lost during the Holocaust. Explore The Butterfly Project, and then create a butterfly using this template.
- Explore poetry written by survivors to peer through a window into a time that is difficult to comprehend. Here’s a place to begin.
- Hear the music created by dozens of violins rescued from the Holocaust that have been collected and restored in the collection Violins of Hope.
- Watch descendants of Holocaust survivors tell their stories and the impact of carrying family trauma through the generations in JCCSF’s video collection What We Carry With Us.