What is it?
The full name of the day commemorating the victims of the Holocaust is “Yom HaShoah Ve-Hagevurah”— in Hebrew literally translated as the “Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism.” It marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. It was established by the Israeli government, but has become a day commemorated by Jewish communities and individuals worldwide.
When is it?
Yom HaShoah falls on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan. In 2021, it begins at sundown on April 7 and ends at sundown on April 8. The date was selected in a resolution passed by Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, on April 12, 1951.
How do we honor the holiday?
Commemorations range from synagogue services to communal vigils and educational programs. A few congregations find it more practical to hold commemorative ceremonies on the closest Sunday to Yom HaShoah while others celebrate the day on April 19, the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
Many Yom HaShoah programs feature a talk by a Holocaust survivor, recitation of appropriate songs and readings, or viewing of a Holocaust-themed film. Some communities choose to emphasize the depth of loss that Jews experienced in the Holocaust by reading the names of Holocaust victims one after another — dramatizing the unfathomable notion of six million deaths. Many Jewish schools also hold Holocaust-related educational programs on or near Yom HaShoah.