Temple Israel Men's Club in Charlotte NC has run a Yom Hashoah Yellow Candle program for many years. After our 2004 year, it was decided to personalize the program, and link each individual candle with a specific name of a Shoah victim.This was achieved with the following steps.
The Yad Vashem database was accessed, and a list of children victims' names and personal information was downloaded. These names were mail merged into the Personal Meditation which is sent out with each candle. At the bottom of the page, information is given on the child's name, parent, age, place of birth, place of death and year of death. 208 individual meditation forms were generated and sent with Yellow Candles to the congregation.
Each congregant received a candle, together with the name of a single child on the Personal Meditation. It was felt that this would personalize the lighting a Yellow Candle. More candles were used as a result. Congregants reported a more meaningful experience. Commemorating the death of a 3 year old or 8 year old child transforms the act of lighting and remembrance into a deeply emotional individual act. This is as it should be.