Yom Hashoah Resources
There are many ways to commemorate the Holocaust. This collection of Israeli resources can add important elements to whatever ceremony or learning experience you plan for Yom Hashoah.
Yom HaShoah (יום השואה) is the day designated by Israel to commemorate the Holocaust. Established in 1951, the memorial day coincides with the anniversary of the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a symbol of Jewish resistance to the Nazis. This is the date on which most Jewish communities across North America commemorate the Shoah. International Holocaust Remembrance Day, designated by the United Nations in 2005, coincides with the liberation of Auschwitz as the war was coming to an end.
Read more about these two different days here.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
1. What symbolism do you see in the dates selected by Israel and the UN to commemorate the Holocaust? What messages are highlighted by each of the two memorial days?
2. If you were to select one memorial day, which would it be, and why?
THE PROMISED PODCAST
Podcast (English) | Explore the development of Yom Hashoah observance in Israel
In a 2021 episode of The Promised Podcast, host Noah Efron chronicled the impact of Israeli music legend Yehuda Poliker on how Yom Hashoah is observed in Israel. Prior to the release of his 1988 album Efer V’avak (Ashes and Dust), popular music in Israel avoided any reference to the Holocaust. That all began to change when Poliker released his haunting album filled with ballads based on the stories he had grown up hearing from his parents, who were survivors.
Listen to the podcast here.
YOM HASHOAH PLAYLIST
Since the 1988 release of Yehuda Poliker’s Efer V’avak, many popular Israeli singers and groups have released songs that relate to the Shoah. More than simply being somber in nature, many of these songs carry impassioned messages of memory and longing.
YAD VASHEM EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, is Israel’s leading institute for commemorating, documenting, researching, and educating about the Holocaust. Established in 1953 by an act of Knesset, located in Jerusalem, it is comprised of the main museum, a research and education center, monuments, and memorials.
Its education wing houses a vast collection of English-language resources designed for educators with an emphasis on age-appropriate, multi-disciplinary approaches to Holocaust education.
Browse lessons and activities for all ages here.
Israeli social initiative of informal gatherings commemorating Yom Hashoah
Zikaron BaSalon (Hebrew for “memories in the living room”) is an organization that encourages individuals and their communities to take initiative and host meaningful, intimate gatherings to commemorate the Holocaust.
The concept was conceived from the understanding that there was a need for a structure to enable young adults to connect with and commemorate the Holocaust in a personal way.
Family, friends, and guests can gather in their host’s living room, where they get to listen to a personal story of a Holocaust survivor and their family. The events incorporate some sort of a cultural element (in the form of songs or poetry, for example) and time to process and have a communal conversation.
To learn more, get inspired, and host or join an event, visit Zikaron BaSalon.
Innovative first-person experience through Instagram
Eva Stories is a unique first-person “experience” that recounts the real-life story of Eva, a Jewish girl murdered in the Shoah. The creative project imagines how she would document her daily life, in short clips, as if she was on Instagram. The objective is to raise awareness of the Holocaust in a format that speaks to all, especially frequent social media users.
View series trailer.
View full Eva Stories series (Instagram account required).
Storytelling Through Sand
Unique sand art performance
World renowned Israeli sand artist Ilana Yahav illustrates the story of the Holocaust through her unique art form. Set to music, this performance animates the narrative of destruction and death to rebirth of the Jewish people.
View the performance.