Days of Remembrance Strengthen Us

By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
When Jews gather, we share stories. Whether they are family tales that we reminisce about in private or ritual retellings of experiences that changed the course of our history, stories are the foundation of memory. Memory holds the key to our resilience as a people.

Every year, we set aside three days for observances that keep memories alive and relevant, so that we never forget lessons from past traumas and always kindle hopes for a better future.

Yom Hashoah, April 8-9, is a solemn day for remembering the 6 million Jews and millions of non-Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust. When we light candles on Yom Hashoah, we are resolving again that their lives and stories will never be forgotten and our will to fight hatred and oppression will never weaken. Please join us at the Holocaust Center for Humanity’s Yom Hashoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day Community Event, April 8 at 12 pm. Your Federation, partner Jewish organizations, and local colleges are honored to co-sponsor this community-wide observance.

Yom Hazikaron, April 13-14, is a reverent day for honoring the men and women who lost their lives defending Israel and for honoring victims of terror attacks. On Yom Hazikaron, many Israelis wear stickers that show the Dam HaMaccabim (“Blood of the Maccabees”) flower. The bloom’s other name is Red Everlasting, a poignant reminder to hold close the memory of people who gave their lives for our Jewish homeland.

Yom Ha’atzmaut, April 14-15, is a festive day to celebrate Israel’s founding 73 years ago. On Israel Independence Day, the Jewish state was restored after a millennia-long absence, the fulfillment of a dream to regain control of our destiny. Yom Ha’atzmaut signifies our solidarity with Israel and strengthens our connections to Jews around the world. 

We invite you to be part of the festivities with your little ones by joining us on April 18 at 1 pm for our SENSEational Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration of Israel. PJ Library Community Connector Kathy Packer and Sephardic Bikur Holim’s Rubissa Sharona Hassan will explore the latest archaeological discoveries in the Dead Sea region, an experience of senses, science, and connection. The stories will be amazing!

When we gather for the three commemorations, virtually or physically, we retell in different ways our collective story as a strong and resilient people. We strengthen the bonds of memory and remember that wherever we live, whatever our circumstances, we are mishpacha, and we are always here for each other.