Yom Ha'Shoah, Yom Ha'Zikaron, Yom Ha'atzmaut

Yom Ha'Shoah, Yom Ha'Zikaron, Yom Ha'atzmaut

Since the founding of the modern State of Israel in 1948, Jewish leadership has created three new days of commemoration that are observed around the world. All three of these days are marked in the spring each year, just a couple of weeks after Passover.


Yom Ha’Shoah is a remembrance day for the 6 million Jews who were killed by the Nazis during World War II. The Hebrew date for Yom Ha’Shoah, the 27th of Nissan, was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Though this commemoration is a day of sadness and reflection, it is also an opportunity to acknowledge the bravery of the Jews who resisted the Nazis, both actively through underground partisan fighting, and through small acts of resistance and faith that often went unnoticed. Unfortunately, today many Holocaust survivors are no longer with us, and Yom Ha’Shoah is an important opportunity for Holocaust education.
In Israel on the morning of Yom Ha’Shoah, a siren is sounded for two minutes that can be heard across the country. Everybody stops what they are doing, even pulling their cars over on the highway, to stand in silence for these moments of mourning and reflection.



Yom Ha’Zikaron is Israel’s Memorial Day in honor of fallen soldiers and victims of terrorist attacks. In Israel there is a military draft for all 18-year-olds following high school graduation. For Israelis the military is big piece of their identity and culture. On Yom Ha’Zikaron there is also a siren and moment of silence, similar to Yom Ha’Shoah. In Israel, many visit a military cemetery to pay their respects to fallen soldiers. Yom Ha’ShoaH Yom Ha’Zikaron Yom Ha’atzmaut Yom Ha’Zikaron always falls one day before Israel’s Independence Day. The message of this association is that the very existence of the State of Israel is due to the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to protect it.



Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebrates the anniversary of when the Israeli declaration of independence was signed in Tel Aviv in 1948. The founding of the State of Israel marks the first time there has been a sovereign Jewish state since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago. Israel is not only a homeland to the Israelis who live there, but for Jews around the world as well. In addition to being the Jewish homeland, Israel is home to people of many faiths and cultural backgrounds. Israelis celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut similarly to how we celebrate the 4th of July – with barbecues, picnics, celebrations and outings. Many Jewish communities around the world celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut as a holiday that both celebrates peoplehood and has religious significance. Many believe the founding of the state is a miracle brought about by Divine intervention.