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20,000 Yellow Candles Shine Worldwide in Remembrance: Yom HaShoah Commemoration

Tuesday 7th May, London - On Sunday evening, 5th May, Jewish communities worldwide commemorated Yom HaShoah, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Jewish calendar. Maccabi GB's Yellow Candle project orchestrated the lighting of over 20,000 flames in the UK and globally, uniting the Jewish community in remembrance of the lives lost during the Holocaust.

The initiative engaged households, communal organisations, Jewish residential care homes, and schools not only in the UK but also in countries such as Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, and the USA. Together, they shared a common goal: to ensure that the atrocities of the Shoah are never forgotten.

Each Yellow Candle came with a biographical card sourced from the Yad Vashem archives, detailing – where known – the name, age, date, and place of death of a specific individual lost in the Shoah. This connection to a victim made the act of commemoration deeply personal for each participant. Individuals and families found resources for commemorating Yom HaShoah on the website, including a template Home Ceremony crafted by Maccabi GB.

A poignant Ceremony hosted by Yom HaShoah UK was attended by over 2,000 people in Central London and watched by thousands more online. The ceremony was also attended by Holocaust survivors, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and the Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely, amongst many others. During the Ceremony, six Yellow Candles were lit to honour the lives of the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. Second and third-generation Holocaust descendants accompanied Holocaust survivors in lighting the flame of the Yellow Candle together. This symbolic act represented the importance of ensuring that each generation remembers the tragedy of the Holocaust, as well as reaffirming a collective commitment to combating antisemitism and promoting peace.

As official media partner to Maccabi GB, The JC distributed Yellow Candles to Jewish people of influence across the British Jewish community to further raise awareness of this initiative. We were pleased to see well-known names such as Tracy-Ann Oberman, Josh Howie and Giles Coren post pictures of their Yellow Candles on social media and the latter also mentioned the Yellow Candle UK project in his Notebook column in today's Times.

Social media was also ablaze with the #yellowcandle on the evening of 5th May, creating a virtual memorial that united Jewish communities worldwide. Among English speaking social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok and X, the combined reach of user-generated content using #yellowcandle was a staggering 933K.

The ‘Remembrance to Renewal’ campaign, which follows the lighting of Yellow Candle, focuses on the triumph and perseverance of Jewish life following the Shoah. As part of this campaign, two sunflower seeds were given with each Yellow Candle. Participants are now invited to plant the seeds in their empty Yellow Candle tin, with each flower sprouting as a symbol of growth and renewal after tragedy.

Ashley Lerner, Chief Executive of Maccabi GB, said, “The annual remembrance of those brutally murdered in the Shoah is something we must never and will never forget. Enabling individuals to be remembered via lighting a Yellow Candle year on year, ensures they rest in power and are never forgotten.

Personally, lighting a Yellow Candle in Auschwitz Birkenau, as part of the March of Living UK delegation, in memory of Slomo Krausz who at the tender age of only three years old was murdered at Auschwitz, is something I will never forget for the rest of my life.

Thank you to all who lit Yellow Candles and keep the flame alive, so we never forget."

Maccabi GB are extremely grateful to the supporters and funders who made Yellow Candle 2024 possible. These include The Association of Jewish Refugees, Betty Messenger Charitable Foundation, The Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, The Jewish Chronicle, We Are All Making a Difference (who funded Yellow Candles for Jewish residential care homes), Yad Vashem UK Foundation and Yom HaShoah UK.

Individuals can register their interest for next year’s Yellow Candle project, which will take place on Yom HaShoah, Wednesday 23rd April 2025, by visiting



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