Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah ( “Holocaust Remembrance Day” ) was established by Israeli law by David Ben-Gurion the Prime Minister of Israel in 1959.

Commemorations range from synagogue services to communal vigils and educational programs. Many Yom HaShoah programs feature a talk by a Holocaust survivor, recitation of appropriate psalms, 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 six million who died. Many Jewish schools also hold Holocaust-related educational programs on Yom HaShoah.

On the eve of Yom HaShoah in Israel, there is a state ceremony at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Authority. At 10:00am on Yom HaShoah, throughout Israel, air-raid sirens are sounded for two minutes. Public transport (including virtually all highway vehicles) comes to a standstill for this period, and people stop and stand silent. All flags on public buildings are flown at half mast.