Yom Hashoah - Holocaust Memorial Program
About Yom Hashoah
Each year the JCC gathers local educators and Holocaust survivors to come together and create a program and memorial service that will educate the public about the horror of the Nazi regime and to teach the importance of tolerance. Holocaust survivors take a leading role in planning the Yom Hashoah Memorial Program and providing living testimony about their own experiences in an effort to ensure that such crimes are never repeated.
During World War II, the Germans, specifically the Nazis exterminated 11 million individuals, including over 1.5 million children. Of these 11 million, many were political dissidents, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma Gypsies, non-heterosexuals, and anyone who was mentally or physically handicapped. They were considered inferior and in the Nazi’s minds did not meet their criteria of an acceptable human being. Of this 11 million, 6 million Jews were exterminated, 1.5 million of them children, because the Nazis’ believed that Jews and their religion made them inferior.
In March 2007, the United Nations designated January 27 as a worldwide day of commemorance for the victims of the Holocaust, citing that the world must know and remember what happened. In addition, the Jewish community instituted a Jewish holy day to remember the Holocaust, the Hebrew day of the 27th of Nissan. This day was chosen because it represented a time period right after the Passover, when the Israelites became a people after they were freed in Egypt, and the time period in which the Warsaw Ghetto had its uprising. It usually occurs in late April or early May.
This Day – Yom Hashoah – which literally means “Day of the Catastrophe” is considered a Day of Remembrance, where local Survivors and the Jewish community come together to remember loved ones lost, honor the Survivors, and pay tribute to individuals who keep the memory of the atrocities foremost in people’s minds to ensure such atrocities will never happen again. Special memorial prayers (Yizkor) are recited.