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Yom HaShoah in the United States

Many people in the United States observe Yom Hashoah, which is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day. It commemorates the lives and heroism of Jewish people who died in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945.

Is Yom HaShoah a Public Holiday?

Yom HaShoah is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Yom HaShoah

Yom HaShoah commemorates the lives and heroism of Jewish victims of the Holocaust during World War II.

©iStockphoto.com/jason walton

What Do People Do?

Many people in the United States, including those with Jewish ancestry or connections, observe Yom Hashoah on the 27th day of the month of Nisan. Many Jewish communities hold commemorative ceremonies or events to remember Holocaust victims who died during World War II. Activities may include lighting memorial candles and reciting the Kaddish, which is a prayer for the departed.

The Masorti (Conservative Judaism) movement in Israel created Megillat HaShoah, a scroll and liturgical reading for Yom HaShoah. This is a joint effort between Jewish leaders in Israel, the United States and Canada. Rituals associated with Yom Hashoah are still being made and suggested. These rituals vary among synagogues in North America.

Educational programs about the historical events associated with Yom Hashoah are shown around this time of the year, particularly to students learning about Jewish history. These programs may include a documentary featuring Holocaust survivors’ stories, as well as a Holocaust-themed film.

Public Life

Yom Hashoah is not a federal public holiday in the United States. The state of Israel moves the observance of Yom Hashoah when the actual date falls on a Friday or Sunday. It is then observed on the preceding Thursday or following Monday, respectively. Some communities in the US also follow this tradition, and there might therefore be some discrepancy about the actual date Yom Hashoah is observed in the US.

Background

Israel’s Knesset (parliament) established Yom Hashoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, as a memorial to about six million Jewish people who were slaughtered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. It is observed on the 27th day of the month of Nisan. The full name of the day is Yom Hashoah Ve-Hagevurah, which means the "Day of (remembrance of) the Holocaust and the Heroism".

About Yom HaShoah in other countries

Read more about Yom HaShoah.

Yom HaShoah Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010SunApr 11Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2011SunMay 1Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2012WedApr 18Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2013MonApr 8Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2014MonApr 28Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2015WedApr 15Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2016WedMay 4Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2017MonApr 24Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2018WedApr 11Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2019WedMay 1Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 
2020TueApr 21Yom HaShoahJewish commemoration 

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