Sunday, 11 Apr 2021 - 29 of Nisan, 5781

Israel to mark Wednesday Holocaust Martyr’s and Heroes’ Remembrance Day

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Central Theme: “Until the Very Last Jew: Eighty Years Since the Onset of Mass Annihilation

Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Day will be observed in Israel on Wednesday evening, 7 April 2021 through Thursday, 8 April.

The official state opening ceremony for Holocaust Remembrance Day will take place on Wednesday  at 20:00, in Warsaw Ghetto Square, Yad Vashem, on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will both deliver remarks at the opening ceremony. Yad Vashem’s Acting Chairman Ronen Plot will kindle the Memorial Torch. Roza Bloch will speak on behalf of the survivors.

During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors will light six torches. Short videos about each of the torchlighters will be shown.

Israeli singers David Daor and Meshi Kleinstein, as well as the IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard, will participate in the ceremony, which will also include narrative pieces by Israeli actor Dean Miroshnikov.

As in past years, the ceremony will also feature a traditional memorial service, including the recitation of a chapter from Psalms by Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi David Lau. The Rishon LeZion, Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef will recite the Kaddish mourner’s prayer, and Cantor Avraham Kirshenbaum will recite El Maleh Rahamim, the Jewish prayer for the souls of the martyrs.

Yad Vashem will broadcast the State Opening Ceremony live with simultaneous translation into EnglishFrench, Spanish, German, Hebrew and Russian via its websites in their respective languages. Additionally, for the first time, Yad Vashem will offer simultaneous translation in Arabic available on the Yad Vashem YouTube Channel in Arabic. The live feed will also be accessible via Facebook (only live in English and Hebrew).

Yad Vashem has created special mini-sites dedicated to Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day containing information about the events and ceremonies taking place throughout the day. Also included in the mini-sites are relevant educational materials and a new online exhibition entitled, “The Onset of Mass Murder: The Fate of Jewish Families in 1941.” Using photographs, documentation and testimonies from Yad Vashem’s unrivalled collections, the exhibition tells the stories of the Jewish families in the wake of Operation Barbarossa, and their ultimate fate in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Eastern Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Yugoslavia.

Generations Light the Way

On the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, moments before the beginning of the State Opening Ceremony, Yad Vashem and Tzohar invite the public, as families, to take part in the “Generations Light the Way” initiative by lighting six memorial candles in memory of the six million victims of the Shoah, and reciting​ the traditional​ mourner’s​ prayer “El Maleh Rahamim“​ and/or the poem​ “Nizkor​ –​ Let us​ Remember” by​ Holocaust survivor​ Abba​ Kovner.

Ongoing Campaigns

Yad Vashem continues to call on the public to fill out Pages of Testimony to commemorate the names of Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Volunteers are available to help Holocaust survivors and their family members submit Pages of Testimony. Yad Vashem is also prolonging the nationwide Gathering the Fragments campaign in an effort to rescue more Holocaust-related documents, artifacts, photographs and artworks, and interview, document and record video testimonies of survivors.

On the Eve of Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Kantor Center for the Studyof Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University will present its annual report on antisemitism worldwide in 2020.


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