In the Americas, please Share the Light, Erev Yom HaShoah, Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
Holocaust Remembrance Day is Thursday, April 8, 2021.
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is often commemorated in communities and synagogues with large mass gatherings, often attended by those most directly impacted by the horrors that occurred in Europe. While these gathering are important, the FJMC understood that Holocaust Remembrance needs to also take place in the home to allow people to reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust and how they effected the entire Jewish people, even generations later, and to also have a mechanism for families to gather for a moment to teach and to explain to the next generation the impact and the survival of that horrific moment in Jewish history. For over 40 years, families have come together to light the Yellow Candle, to remember, to teach, and not to forget.
WHY THE YELLOW CANDLE?
The Candle is Yellow to remind us of the Yellow Star that Jews were forced to wear to identify them as Jews and open them to ridicule and persecution. Men's Clubs and other organization order the Candle through this program and distribute them to their membership with a short explanation of the program. On the night of Yom HaShoah the candles are lit in homes across the globe to shine a light of memory, a light of education, and a light that we will never forget. By participating in this program, you are helping to keep the memory of the Shoah alive and to remember what happens when good people do not stand up.
By participating in this program, you build the next link in the chain of memory. Just as we light a Yahrzeit Candle to burn for 24 hours to remember a dear one who is no longer with us on the anniversary of their dead, so too, once a year, we light a Yellow Yom HaShoah candle to burn 24 hours to remember our 6,000,000 brothers and sister who died for no other reason, but they were Jewish. Join us in remembering.The tragedy of the Holocaust is not forgotten in order to prevent similar heinous crimes or a repeat offense.
Sharing light through remembrance using the Yellow Candle, is just a moment in time, but a timeless moment that can never be forgotten. The tool of light – through candle sharing – will shine truth on everyone it comes across.
SHOAH YELLOW CANDLES - "OUR" HISTORY
Over seventy years ago, half of the earth's Jewish population perished at the hands of another Amalek, an Austrian house painter who seized control of Europe and threw the earth into darkness. God's light unto the other nations flickered but did not die. A new, modern Exodus arose from the depths of despair and tragedy. From the ashes of Europe, survivors of the Holocaust, or Shoah, made their way towards new lives. Emigrants dispersed around the world, to the new State of Israel and to the western hemisphere. In these places, they began to rebuild shattered lives.
The Yellow Candle™ program was created in 1981 by FJMC clubs in Canada, New England and elsewhere to keep alive the memory of the Six Million who perished in the Shoah. The Candle is modeled after a traditional Jewish memorial Yahrzeit candle that burns for 24 hours during periods of mourning and on the Yahrzeit anniversary of a family member. Survivors asked a question. How could Yahrzeits be observed for those victims whose entire families had been wiped out? An idea was born, a special memorial candle with yellow wax, in remembrance of the yellow stars forced upon European Jews during the Nazi regime. A photo on the candle container shows young people visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This reflects the importance of teaching our youth the lessons of the Holocaust and of remembering the Six Million. In addition, the program logo is a yellow Magen David (Star of David) outlined with barbed wire, with the word "Jude" in the middle. This preserves the memory of the armband or cloth patch that Jews were forced to wear in the ghettos of Eastern Europe.
Today, organizations across North America and beyond sponsor this international program. Yellow Candles™ are distributed to people from all streams of Judaism, to institutions such as synagogues, schools, museums, military bases, churches and government offices. Your group can run a successful Yellow Candle program. Success means distributing as many Candles as possible to your community. No human being who wishes to memorialize a victim should be left out.
This website and the Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle™ Guide are valuable resources for enhancing your observance of Yom HaShoah. We're glad to answer all of your questions. Please take the time to explore and download the Yellow Candle Guide from the menu on left side of this page.
“Hitler practiced racial anti-semitism, the worst kind. Anti-semitism is like a virus. It doesn’t go away, it keeps morphing. You’ve got to find a way to vaccinate against it.”
“Some say the Holocaust couldn't have been so bad, that humans could not have behaved so badly. Once a year on Yom HaShoah, we pause and remember that the Holocaust must not be forgotten. The Yellow Candle is an opportunity to open the conversation with our children about evil.”
“You remember evil with Yellow Candles. Then you always go out and do good. BOOKENDS!”
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions preventing most clubs from distributing candles before Yom HaShoah ‘20, FJMC did not purchase additional Yellow Candles from Israel for Yom HaShoah 2021/5781. As a result, FJMC has a limited existing inventory, which we will sell on a first-come, first-served basis. We cannot guarantee that candles will still be available for sale before the order deadline date of March 4, 2021.
Steven Silverstone, Arthur Lashin and Ed Margolis, Co-Chair
Shoah Yellow Candle™ Program, P.O. Box 1042, Hallandale Beach, FL 33008
Yellow Candle™ is a trademark of the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs, Inc.