Between Passover and Shavuot, Israel and world Jewry have three special days of memory and celebration: Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom HaZikaron, Israel Memorial Day; and Yom Ha’Atzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. While these days are typically marked by community ceremonies and celebrations, gathering together is not possible this year. The resources provided here will assist you in bringing your community together, online in new and meaningful ways.
Using the links below, consider having students recreate the siren which sounds at sundown the evening before (April 20) and again at 10:00 AM the following morning. This can be done communally over Zoom or individual learners could submit video of their family standing still to commemorate the victims and heroes of the Holocaust.
You may want to teach the poem “Lechol Ish Yesh Shem” (Each person has a name) by Zelda, and reflect on its importance and relevance to this memorial. Students could be asked to add two lines to the poem that speak to their sense of what makes each life valuable and significant.
- Footage of the annual Yom HaShoah siren in Shuk Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem as the entire bustling market stops to commemorate the victims and heroes of the Holocaust – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfwQhmRhrqM
- Footage of the annual Yom HaShoah siren on a highway in Tel Aviv as motorists stop and exit their cars country in silence to commemorate the victims and heroes of the Holocaust – https://youtu.be/4uK5uz7d-Oo
- Music performed at the official state Yom HaShoah Ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum:
- Koolulam, an initiative in Israel that brings together large groups for mass singing events, commemorated Yom HaShoah by bringing together 600 Holocaust survivors and their families to perform the song “Chai” (“Alive”) in 2018:
- “One Human Tissue/Rikmah Enoshit Achat” a song performed annually at Yom HaShoah ceremonies throughout Israel including at the official Yom HaShoah Ceremony at Yad Vashem:
- “I’ll Raise My Head/Arim Roshi” by Shai Gabso is a popular song performed at both Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron ceremonies throughout Israel:
- Full recording of the official Yom HaShoah ceremony at Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Museum, in 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPFNe7GLeRc
Video Holocaust Survivor Testimonies:
- Yad Vashem’s Online Torchlighter Film Archive where one can watch video testimonies from Holocaust survivors: https://www.yadvashem.org/remembrance/torchlighters.html
- Access to numerous online exhibitions from Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust Memorial Museum: https://www.yadvashem.org/exhibitions.html
Articles and Lessons:
- My Jewish Learning article about the history of Yom Hashoah, and commemorations in Israel and throughout the world: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/yom-hashoah-holocaust-memorial-day/
- CIE has a unit on the history of Yom HaShoah. How and why it was established on the 27th of Nisan and other information about the evolution of this day: https://israeled.org/origins-of-yom-hashoah-holocaust-memorial-day/