On the 27th of Nisan every year, we observe Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Rememberance Day. For several years, FJMC has distributed Yellow Candles to commemorate the day (as a result of a Gold Torch Award program).
Hundreds of thousands of people light Yellow Candles on Erev Yom HaShoah. This year that occurred on the evening of April 20th. In addition to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive, this program has served as an important fundraiser for FJMC and many of its clubs.
Clubs in the Northern New Jersey Region (NNJR) have the option of placing their orders collectively, then picking them up directly from the warehouse in Piscataway, NJ where the Yellow Candles are stored before being shipped out across North America. By pooling their orders, the participating clubs are able to take advantage of the lowest early-bird pricing. Also, FJMC avoids the expense of shipping out the candles.
Eric Weis poses on a pallet of Yellow Candle cases, like he does every year. Eric is a Past-President of NNJR as well as a past FJMC Yom HaShoah Yellow Candle Chair.
Mike Keats (l) poses with Larry Klioze (r). Mike is a Past-President of the club at Temple Sholom in Bridgewater, NJ, which developed the Build-A-Grogger program.
Distribution of the Yellow Candles typically occurs on a Sunday in February. Representatives from the participating NNJR clubs gather at the warehouse for Morning Minyan. After Minyan, we partake of bagels and coffee (you gotta eat!), and then the Yellow Candles are distributed. In the past two years, we also distributed Build-A-Grogger kits (another Gold Torch Award winning program) to NNJR clubs – again saving on shipping costs.
A nice turnout happens every year. Two years ago we were honored to have then FJMC President Stan Greenspan attending.
Larry Klioze is currently the Recording Secretary of NNJR and a Past-President of his club at the Highland Park Conservative Temple – Congregation Anshe Emeth. Since 2016, he has served as the NNJR Yellow Candle Focal. He lives in Highland Park, NJ, and works in the Information Technology field as a Contract Solution Architect. He also works part-time as a bartender.