When to Light the Shoah Yellow Candle

You may wish to light Shoah Yellow Candles on days other than Yom HaShoah

“Light a Candle, Preserve a Memory”

Please refer to your Rabbi for guidance

Organizations and individuals have developed programs that include Shoah Yellow Candles. Some choose recognized dates on the calendar commemorating other historical events. Some focus on individual remembrance for family members lost in the Shoah or for survivors who have passed on in our local communities. This page provides several anniversary options.

Yom Shoah – Sundown on Sunday, May 5, 2024, through Monday evening, May 6, 2024

In community-based observance programs, Shoah Yellow Candles are traditionally lit on Yom HaShoah to memorialize those lost in the Holocaust. FJMC delivers Shoah Yellow Candles before Passover, two weeks before Yom HaShoah. The date of the Hebrew calendar is 27 Nisan, so it varies from the Gregorian calendar. The timing is no coincidence since the Warsaw Ghetto uprising date started on 27 Nisan.

The FJMC Shoah Yellow Candle™ remains an important symbol, and we suggest alternative opportunities to distribute and the days to light the Shoah Yellow Candle.  Lighting your Shoah Yellow Candle on these days, remembering a child or a loved one who lost their life in the Holocaust, is an appropriate and educational way to remember a young life who perished in the Holocaust, perhaps whom no one may be left to say the Mourners Kaddish or Yizkor.   Of course, if you are a Synagogue or Temple, please consult with your Rabbi to determine the appropriateness of what might be an alternative option. The following are some alternatives. It would be best if you always referred to your Rabbi for guidance.

  • Kristallnacht – Many organizations light the Shoah Yellow Candle™ to memorialize Kristallnacht (November 9 -10), which marked the intensification of a terror regime against the German Jews. Violent mobs, spurred by Anti-Semetic exhortations from Nazi officials, destroyed hundreds of synagogues and burned or desecrated Jewish religious artifacts. Acting on orders from Gestapo headquarters, police officers and firefighters did nothing to prevent the destruction. Approximately 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses, homes, and schools were plundered, and 91 Jews were murdered. An additional 30,000 Jewish men were arrested and sent to concentration camps. The FJMC Yellow Candle™ Program allows families to speak about events leading to the Holocaust, perhaps for the first time, and raise awareness of what can happen if Anti-Semitism goes unchallenged.
  • International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27 is designated by the United Nations as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Since 2005, the United Nations member countries have held commemorative ceremonies to mark the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau and honor the Six Million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism. International Holocaust Remembrance Day aims to promote Holocaust education throughout the world. On January 27, many state and local governments, Canadian provinces, public schools, the US military, churches, and other organizations commemorate the Holocaust.
  • Yahrzeit – The anniversary of the death of a parent or close relative and is commonly observed by burning a candle for an entire day. Often people will light a Shoah Yellow Candle, in addition to a traditional glass Yahrzeit Candle, on the day they recite a memorial prayer for a loved one. One can pray for the six million who perished in the Holocaust.
  • Shavuot – On Shavuot, it is traditional to recite the Yizkor (The opening word of the communal memorial), which is the traditional mourning service recited in memory of a parent or other close loved one or friend during synagogue services on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), on the eighth day of Passover (Pesaḥ), on Shemini Atzeret (the eighth day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles), and on the first or second day of Shavuot pending if you celebrate one day or two days (Feast of Weeks).
  • Yom Kippur – Another day when we recite Yizkor. Your club could distribute the Shoah Yellow Candles and the name of a murdered child during Rosh Hashanah services with the request to light the candle on Erev Yom Kippur.
  • Tisha B’Av – The  9th of Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and is a day that recalls tragedies that befell the Jewish People throughout the ages. Many congregations have used the Shoah Yellow Candle during their services on Tisha B’Av as an opportunity to light a Yellow Candle at home.

Sharing light through remembrance using the Shoah Yellow Candle is just a moment in time but a timeless moment that can never be forgotten. We remember the tragedy of the Holocaust to prevent similar heinous crimes or repeat offenses. The tool of light – through candle sharing – will shine truth on everyone it comes across.