On April 12, 2018 the Government of British Columbia observed Yom HaShoah at the BC Parliament Buildings. Holocaust survivors participated in a ceremony to remember those who were murdered by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. Seven candles were lit in memory – six for the six million Jewish men, women and children that perished and one for the non-Jewish victims, including members of the Roma people, LGBTQ2+ and people with disabilities. Read more…
Sunday, April 15, 11 am – noon, Victoria Jewish Cemetery — You are invited to the annual remembrance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). This year’s commemoration will take place on Sunday, April 15, 11 am – noon, at the Victoria Jewish Cemetery on Cedar Hill Road (south from Hillside Ave.). We will be remembering those who perished in the Holocaust not as victims or statistics but as the unique individuals that they were. We also honour the strength and resilience of survivors. We know that for the safety of all people the lessons of the Shoah and events leading up to this tragedy cannot be forgotten.
This year’s commemoration is subtitled “Our Stories” and we will hear the family stories of survivors some of whom are buried in Victoria’s Jewish Cemetery. In this way we truly honour their memory. There will be music and songs of that era, to move us and also to remind us of the flourishing cultures in so many of the locations tragically upended by the Shoah. As well, the memorial prayers and reflections will help us to think about how we can act today. We must not only remember those tragic events but must not remain silent in the face of injustice and, instead, stand together whenever any person or group is targeted for their beliefs, religion, race, sexual orientation or disabilities. Our Pledge of Mutual Respect and Support will be read for all to voice their commitment to these principles.
We invite you to share in this event with us. We welcome your presence and support as we gather to remember the past and look towards a future of peace and unity.
overcast skies nor a cool wind deterred the more than 100 people from the
diverse Victoria community from attending this year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration
last Sunday. The event was organized by the Victoria Shoah Project, a volunteer
group sponsored by Congregation Emanu-El dedicated to finding innovative ways
of respectfully remembering the Shoah and educating about it.
played by Emanu-El members opened the ceremony, followed by welcome remarks
from Isa Milman, who reminded us of the importance of remembrance and the deep
Jewish value of choosing life and living it as moral beings with a purpose of tikkunolam (putting the world to rights). Federal, provincial and municipal political
leaders, the acting Chief of Police and representatives from faith groups stood
together with members from the Victoria’s Jewish and non-Jewish communities for
two minutes of silence in respect and remembrance.
An important objective of remembrance and education events
organized by the Victoria Shoah Project is to have multi-generational
participation, as this honors the determination of survivors to begin life
again and strengthens the memories of those who perished. This year’s program
was made even more special as Leo Vogel, a child survivor, told his very
personal and emotional story of the tragic death of his family and the heroism
of the Dutch resistance and the Christian family who risked their lives to save
him. He explained that for him remembrance is not once a year, but every day.
When a man with Leo’s direct history asks “When will the world learn?,” the
question has a profound message for us all.
A presentation by Jillian
Shoichet and the B’nei Mitzvah students told of the “Twinning Project” where,
as part of their preparation for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah, students do research
through Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
They each chose to remember a young child who
perished in the Shoah and learn their name, birthplace and any other
information available and in this way bring the child who perished with them on
the journey to a B’nei Mitzvah which that child never could experience. This
learning and connection has a powerful impact and honors the more than one
million children who were killed in the Shoah. These presentations were
followed by the beautiful violin playing of Julien Haynes and Jeanel Laing of
UVIC music program and the evocative singing of Eili, Eili by Orly Salama-Alber.
As remembrance is
central to Yom HaShoah, Rabbi Harry led us in the El Malé Raḥamim memorial prayer and Peter Nadler led those in
attendance in the Kaddish of the Camps,
telling the story of his family who perished and reminding us that while
millions died in the concentration camps there were also a million and a half
who died in villages, ghettos and forests.
The last parts of the
program reflected an important part of our commemoration. Julius Maslovat, who
as a young child survived the notorious Buchenwald and Bergen Belsen camps led
us: Jews and non-Jews, young and old, political leaders and community members,
in the Pledge of Mutual Respect and Support, in which we all commit to stand
together against racism or discrimination against any peoples in our community and
to foster dialogue, based on mutual respect, amongst diverse groups.
concluded with a symbolic act of regeneration after the horrors of the Shoah.
The children planted a Garry Oak tree. As Isa explained, “What better metaphor
to symbolize our planting new life, right here, in our cemetery, which in
Judaism is called a “Beit Haim” or House of Life.” As those in attendance
slowly and silently made their way through the cemetery, the power of the
first-hand stories of survivors, the example of the B’nei Mitzvah students who
honor children who perished, and the spoken commitment of the broad spectrum of
the Victoria community in attendance to stand together when hatred is directed
at any group are the images and messages that will remain as powerful reminders
of this year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration.
On behalf of the Victoria Shoah Project, we would like to invite you to the annual remembrance of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). This year’s commemoration will take place on Sunday, April 23, 11 am – noon, at the Victoria Jewish Cemetery on Cedar Hill Road (south from Hillside Ave.). The Victoria Jewish community and friends will be remembering those who perished in the Holocaust as well as recognizing the strength of survivors and the lessons to be learned for all peoples from that tragic event.
During the service, we will hear the personal story of a Holocaust survivor and hear other readings, songs and reflections from community members representing the second generation and third generations. Our program will conclude with the planting of a Garry Oak tree that will represent the many lives we lost and the hope of new growth and new life through remembering them.
Victoria Shoah Project members invite you to join them to commemorate Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Sunday, May 8, 11am–12 noon at the Victoria Jewish Cemetery on Cedar Hill Road (south from Hillside Avenue), honouring those who perished in the Holocaust as well as recognizing the strength of survivors and the lessons to be learned for all peoples from that tragic event.
During the service, we will hear the personal story of a Holocaust survivor and hear other readings and reflections from descendants representing the second generation and third generations, Holocaust educators and community members, as well as university students of diverse backgrounds.
The tragedy of the Holocaust continues to reverberate through the generations and provides relevance for Jews and non-Jews alike in today’s world.
We hope you will be able to share in this event with us. We welcome your presence and support as we gather to remember the past and look towards a future of peace and unity.
Wednesday, April 22nd, from 5:30pm at the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria
The event will open with a Yom HaZikaron observance, featuring the sounding of the sirens, candle lighting and reflections, and prayers and remembrance for Israel’s fallen and those impacted by conflict and terrorism in the region. Following the singing of HaTikvah (Israel’s National Anthem), we will celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut with music and a Kosher Israeli-Style Falafel Dinner, featuring Falafel, Pita, Hummus, Israeli Salad, Halva, Bamba for the kids and more!
The evening will also feature a special musical performance by Josie Davidson.
There is no charge for this event, although donations will be graciously accepted.
This event is being presented by the Jewish Federation of Victoria & Vancouver Island with the venue sponsored by the Jewish Community Centre of Victoria.
Sunday, April 19 – 11 am, Victoria Jewish Cemetery
Please join us for our annual commemoration of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) to remember those who perished in theHolocaust as well as recognize the strength of survivors and the lessons to be
learned for all peoples.
The service will include personal stories from
multiple generations — a Holocaust survivor and representatives of the second,
third and fourth generations — as well as an address in honour and memory of
second-generation survivor Gidi Nahshon z’‘l, to whom this year’s event is
The tragedy of the Holocaust continues to
reverberate through the generations and provides relevance for Jews and
non-Jews alike in today’s world. We hope you will join us to remember the past
and look towards a future of peace and unity.