43 years ago, FJMC leaders created the Shoah Yellow Candle™ as a living symbol for home observance of Yom HaShoah Day. We light the Shoah Yellow Candle™ at sundown on Sunday, May 5, 2024. The Bulk Yellow Candle order deadline is April 5, 2024.
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) is sometimes commemorated with large mass gatherings in communities and synagogues. FJMC has long understood that Holocaust Remembrance should also take place in the home to allow people to reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust and how they affected Jews generations later. The Shoah Yellow Candle™ is a mechanism for families to gather for a moment to teach and to explain to our children and grandchildren the impact and the survival of that horrific moment in Jewish history. For 43 years, families have come together to light the Shoah Yellow Candle™, to remember, to teach, and not to forget.
The Yellow Candle reminds us of the Yellow Star that Jews were forced to wear to identify them as Jews and open them to ridicule and persecution. 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. Men’s Clubs and other organizations order the Candle through this program and distribute them to their members with a short explanation of the program. By participating in this program, you are helping to keep the memory of the Shoah alive and prevent similar heinous crimes or repeat offenses.
Participating in this program builds the following 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 death, so too, once a year, we light a Yellow Shoah candle to burn 24 hours to remember our Six Million brothers and sister who died for no other reason, but they were Jewish.
Sharing light for remembrance using the Shoan Yellow Candle™ is not just a moment in time but a timeless moment that we should never forget. The tool of light – through candle sharing – will shine truth on everyone it touches.
Over seventy-five years ago, half of the earth’s Jewish population perished at the hands of Adolph Hitler, who seized control of Europe and threw the world 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 toward new lives. Emigrants dispersed worldwide to the new State of Israel and 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 How could Yahrzeits be observed for those victims whose entire families had been wiped out? An idea was born, a unique memorial candle with yellow wax, to remember the yellow stars forced upon European Jews during the Nazi regime. A photo on the candle container shows young people in the 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.
Your group can run a successful Yellow Candle™ program. Today, organizations across North America and beyond sponsor this international program. Shoah Yellow Candles™ are distributed to people from all streams of Judaism, to institutions such as synagogues, schools, museums, military bases, churches, and government offices. 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 Shoah Yellow Candle™ Guide are valuable resources for enhancing your observance of Yom HaShoah. Please take the time to explore and download the Yellow Candle™ Guide from the menu on the left side of this page.
Shoah Yellow Candle™ Program, P.O. Box 2122, Kirkland, WA 98083