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Tens of Thousands light Yellow Candles and Plant Sunflower Seeds this Yom HaShoah in Honour of Maccabi GB’s Project to Highlight the Importance of “Remembrance to Renewal”

 

On Wednesday 27th April, Jews across the globe commemorated Yom HaShoah, the annual Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day. As in previous years, Maccabi GB’s Yellow Candle project united the Jewish community and enabled over 32,000 flames to be lit worldwide on the day to remember the lives so tragically cut short during the Holocaust.

The initiative brought together households in the UK and worldwide, communal organisations across the country, Jewish residential care homes throughout the UK, schools and various international organisations – including across Hungary, Sweden, Spain, the USA, Israel, Bahrain and the UAE – for one common goal: ensuring that we Never Forget the horrors of the Shoah.

The theme of this year’s project was ‘Remembrance to Renewal’, meditating on the triumph and perseverance of Jewish life. To promote this message, two sunflower seeds were given with each candle. Participants were invited to plant the seeds in the Yellow Candle tin once their candle had been used, each flower sprouting as a symbol of growth after tragedy.

Each Yellow Candle pack also contained a biographical card with information from the Yad Vashem archives, including the name, age, date, a photograph and the place of death of a particular individual who perished in the Shoah, connecting each participant with one victim to make this both a deeply personal and communal act of commemoration.

Individuals, families and small groups were able to light a candle of remembrance in their own homes via the template created in partnership with PaJeS and Zikaron BaSalon found on the Yellow Candle website, with 75 families across the UK participating, whilst being part of the national communal commemoration hosted by Yom HaShoah UK during the evening of 27th April. 

In a moving ceremony watched by thousands online, the Yom HaShoah UK event itself, held at Jewish Care’s Wohl Campus in Golders Green, saw six Yellow Candles lit in the presence of Holocaust survivors, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely to honour the lives of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

For each lighting, a representative of a synagogal organisation passed a lit candle to a second-generation member of the community, who concluded by passing the same candle to either a Holocaust survivor or a refugee to light the flame of the Yellow Candle. In doing so, this literal and symbolic act represented the importance of ensuring that each generation remembers the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Communities around the country also hosted local lighting events, connecting with the national ceremony in a meaningful way, whilst Jonathan Prevezer, Chairman of Maccabi GB, lit his candle as part of the lighting ceremony from Poland, whilst involved in March of the living. 

On the evening of the 27th April, social media was also aflame with the hashtag #yellowcandle, creating a virtual memorial uniting Jewish communities across the world. The campaign trended 2nd on Twitter, with individuals all over the globe sharing pictures of their lit candles.

Maccabi GB’s Yellow Candle project enabled thousands of individuals to mark Yom HaShoah in a profound way, honouring and remembering those who lost their lives in the Holocaust. This year also served to campaign for a brighter future, with the accompanying sunflower seeds representing growth and renewal.

Ashley Lerner, the CEO of Maccabi GB, said, I am proud that via the lighting of Yellow Candles, Yom HaShoah has been marked and commemorated on a global scale. In homes and public ceremonies throughout the world, Yellow Candles were lit and seeds then planted, ensuring that we will never forget the horrors of the Shoah and constantly strive to revive and regrow. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners and sponsors who have made Yellow Candle a reality for yet another meaningful Yom HaShoah.”

Individuals can register their interest for the 2023 Yellow Candle Project by visiting www.yellowcandleuk.org/registration

Tens of Thousands light Yellow Candles and Plant Sunflower Seeds this Yom HaShoah in Honour of Maccabi GB’s Project to Highlight the Importance of “Remembrance to Renewal”
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On Wednesday 27th April, Jews across the globe commemorated Yom HaShoah, the annual Jewish Holocaust Remembrance Day.