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.

Railroad car used during the Holocaust
A carriage that was used to transport Holocaust victims during World War II. These victims are remembered on Yom Hashoah.
A carriage that was used to transport Holocaust victims during World War II. These victims are remembered on Yom Hashoah.
©iStockphoto.com/Brittany Carter Courville

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

Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.
WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
SunApr 112010Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
SunMay 12011Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
WedApr 182012Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
MonApr 82013Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
MonApr 282014Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
WedApr 152015Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
WedMay 42016Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
MonApr 242017Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
WedApr 112018Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
WedMay 12019Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 
TueApr 212020Yom HaShoahJewish holiday 

Quick Facts

Many people in the United States observe Yom Hashoah by remembering Holocaust victims who died during World War II.

Yom HaShoah 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Yom HaShoah 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
Yom HaShoahEnglish
Yom HaShoahSpanish
יום הזיכרון לשואה ולגבורהHebrew
ذكرى الكارثة والبطولةArabic
홀로 코스트와 영웅 현충일Korean
Minnedag for Holocaust-ofreneNorwegian
Jom haScho'aGerman

Alternative name

Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day
Note: Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the date specified for the holiday.

List of dates for other years

Other holidays in May 2016 in the United States

Fun Holiday on May 4, 2016

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