Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laG’vurah (Day of Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance), known colloquially in Israel and abroad as Yom HaShoah ( Day of “The Catastrophe” or “Utter Destruction”) and in English as Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Holocaust Memorial Day, is observed as Israel’s day of commemoration for the approximately six million Jews and five million others who perished in the Holocaust as a result of the actions carried out by Nazi Germany with its systematic genocide of the European Jews, and for the Jewish resistance in that period, including the resistance of partisans, the members of the Underground, and the Ghetto occupants. It is held on the 27th of Nisan (April/May).
In 2017, Yom HaShoah begins at sundown on Sunday 23 April and continues through sunset Monday 24 April. On Monday, in Israel, a siren stops all traffic and pedestrians for two minutes of silent meditation, reflection, and devotion at 10:00 a.m.
We must never forget what happened during the Holocaust, not only because of the large-scale persecution and execution of the European Jews, but because such hatred, intolerance, and genocide still exist today, against Jews as well as against many other groups of people. Soon, there will be no Holocaust survivors remaining to tell their own stories, so we must prevent this horrific event from becoming “distant history” by telling their stories for them, and by creating, reading, and viewing art which reminds us that “the only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke).
In honor of Yom HaShoah, in memory of my great-grandparents’ family members and all the other Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, in honor of my friend who survived Auschwitz at age 16 – Anna Brunn Ornstein – her husband, Paul Ornstein, and all the other survivors of the camps, I will, as always, be observing the official two minutes of silence and reflection, as well as spending the day in meditation. Please join me.
Learn about The Holocaust on USHMM
(United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
For more information on the Holocaust database
or to fill out Pages of Testimony, visit
Yad Vashem‘s Central Database of Shoah Victims