Yom HaShoah's Origins
Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th of the Hebrew month of Nisan. Shoah, which means “catastrophe” or “utter destruction” in Hebrew, refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. This is a memorial day for those who died in the Shoah. The Shoah is also known as the Holocaust, from a Greek word meaning "sacrifice by fire."
The Holocaust was the largest manifestation of antisemitism in recent history. Yom HaShoah reminds us of the horrors that Jews and other persecuted groups faced: forced labor, starvation, humiliation, and torture, which often resulted in death. It was a systematic effort to wipe out an entire population from the face of the earth.
Many commemorate Yom HaShoah by lighting yellow candles to keep alive the memories of the victims. Most synagogues and Jewish communities gather together to mark the day through worship, music and the stories from survivors. Find a congregation near you to attend a Yom HaShoah commemoration event.