Despite a year of isolation and pandemic restrictions, Jewish communities around the country are finding ways to come together for Yom HaShoah, the annual commemoration to honor the more than six million Jews murdered by Nazis and Nazi collaborators during the Holocaust.
From coast to coast, synagogues, cities, museums, Jewish community centers, and others are hosting and organizing virtual events to remember the lives lost, honor the survivors, and educate a new generation.
With the rise of antisemitism, white supremacy, racism, and Holocaust denial, many of the Yom HaShoah events aim to combat hate and bigotry through speech, storytelling, music, and culture.
To help you find ways to participate in this meaningful week of remembrance, the Forward has compiled a list of virtual Yom HaShoah events across the country.
1.Holocaust Museum of LA “Sephardic Victims of the Shoah “
The Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles will host a livestream Yom HaShoah commemoration ceremony specifically honoring the Sephardic communities in Southern Europe and North Africa that were victims of Nazi brutality. The virtual ceremony, which takes place Sunday, April 11 will feature a keynote address by Dr. Aomoar Baum, associate professor and vice chair of Undergraduate Studies, UCLA Department of Anthropology, a speech from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, performances by singer-songwriters Shira Bouskila and Montana Tucker, and appearances from survivors.
While the museum itself remains closed due to pandemic restrictions, its Yom HaShoah event is open to anyone who wishes to join and honor the Sephardic community.
2.Ohio Jewish Communities’ Governor’s Holocaust Commemoration
In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine is hosting the state’s 41st annual Holocaust commemoration event. In partnership with Ohio Jewish Communities and hosted by the Jewish Federations of North America, the event will focus on the importance of Holocaust education. In addition to hearing from Holocaust survivor Dr. Al Miller, the event will also feature a conversation with Dr. Stephen Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation.
The commemoration will begin at 4pm on April 8 and will be available statewide. Click here to register.
3.United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Days of Remembrance Commemoration
The USHMM leads the United States in observing Days of Remembrance, established by Congress as the nation’s annual Holocaust commemoration. The 2021 commemoration, which will take place virtually on April 8 at 11a.m., will feature remarks from Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, whose stepfather survived Auschwitz and other camps.
The Museum is also offering Days of Remembrance resources for those who want to commemorate by posting on social media or organizing an event.
4.Milwaukee Annual Commemoration Ceremony
In Milwaukee, the community will come together for a special Yom HaShoah event that will feature Holocaust survivor and retired physician Alfred Munzer. Munzer lost his father and two sisters in the Holocaust and was rescuded by a Muslim family in the Netherlands. He has been a volunteer at the USHMM for the past eight years translating diaries from Dutch into English for a five-volume series about Jewish persecution. Sponsored by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, the event will take place Sunday April 11 at 3 p.m.
5. The Holocaust Memorial Miami Beach: A Virtual Community Observance
In Miami, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation is hosting Yom HaShoah: A Virtual Community Observance for Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday, April 8 at 7 p.m. Ahead of the event, the Holocaust Memorial and Miami Jewish Film Festival will stream “Numbered” and “The Lost Brothers,” two films examining the Shoah, free of charge from Wednesday, April 7 at 4 p.m. through Thursday, April 8 at 4 p.m.
6. Boston JCRC: Preserving Our Collective Memory: Bridging Generations
Bostonians can join JCRC for their annual Holocaust commemoration, this year recognizing the 25th anniversary of the New England Holocaust Memorial. The virtual event will feature the reflections of survivors, music, art and poetry. The event will take place Sunday April 11 at 2 p.m.
In advance of Sunday’s commemoration, Bostonians can tune in to “The Shoah in Film: History From the Ashes,” in which Boston College professors and documentary filmmakers John and Susan Michalczyk will present and discuss clips from their series of Holocaust films. The film event is organized by Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College and the Boston College Hillel.
7. Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum Virtual Yom HaShoah
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is also hosting its annual commemoration virtually this year. The free event will take place on April 8 at 7 p.m. with feature speakers including Rabbi Stefan Weinberg of Congregation Anshai Torah and Tamar Leventhal and Julie Robinowitz, both daughters of Holocaust survivors.
Attendees are invited to place a tribute, list a memorial tribute, or include their name in the digital Yom HaShoah book of remembrance.
Your guide to 2021 (virtual) Yom HaShoah commemorations