24 April: Yom Ha’Shoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is a day set aside to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust or Shoah. Many Australians with Jewish ties or heritage observe Yom Ha’Shoah. It commemorates the lives and heroism of Jewish people who died in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945.
Many people in Australia, including those with Jewish ancestry or connections, observe Yom Hashoah on the 27th day of the month of Nisan. Many Jewish communities hold commemorative ceremonies or events to remember Holocaust victims who died during World War II.
Synagogue services are held in Australia during Yom Hashoah and rituals may vary. Activities may include lighting memorial candles and reciting prayers. Holocaust survivors may also share their stories with people. Discussion forums are also held, where academics on human rights issues discuss the consequences of the Holocaust. Exhibitions and book launches that focus on the Holocaust may also take place during Yom HaShoah.
Educational programs about the historical events associated with Yom Hashoah are shown around this time of the year, particularly to students learning about Jewish history. These programs may include a documentary featuring Holocaust survivors’ stories or a viewing of a Holocaust-themed film. Teaching resources and guidelines may accompany some of these programs.
Melbourne has the highest proportion of Shoah survivors, next to Israel, in the world. For more information, you can visit the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Elsternwick, Melbourne. http://www.jhc.org.au/