No Public Gatherings on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Starting Tonight

Several organizations call on public to go out on balconies during siren on Tuesday morning

Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
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Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, stands empty amid coronavirus restrictions, April 19, 2020
Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, stands empty amid coronavirus restrictions, April 19, 2020Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel will begin on Monday evening at 8 P.M. and continue through Tuesday. Due to the ban on public gatherings as a result of the coronavirus, the main ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem will be held in advance and recorded for broadcast on Monday evening. The pre-recorded footage of the ceremony, where President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak, will be broadcast on television, radio and Facebook and on Yad Vashem’s website.

Bibi's got the perfect exit strategy - just not for the coronavirusCredit: Haaretz

The ceremony will include the lighting of torches by Holocaust survivors in memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. At 9 P.M., several organizations will hold programming that the public can view by video-conference via the Zoom computer application. It will also be broadcast on the Facebook pages of a number of organizations including the website of the Dorot Hahemshech organization. The website will have details of other Holocaust Remembrance Day events that are being held by video-conference.

On Tuesday at 10 A.M. there will be a nationwide siren in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, when the country’s population pauses and stands at attention. Amcha, which provides support for Holocaust survivors, and the group Zikaron Basalon are calling on the large number of members of the public who will be at home then due to conoravirus restrictions to stand on their balconies with signs reading, “Remembering from up close, embracing from afar.”

The siren will be followed by the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Warsaw Ghetto Square at Yad Vashem, which will be broadcast live on Yad Vashem’s Facebook page. The main closing ceremony will be held at 4:30 P.M. Tuesday at Kibbutz Lochamei Hageta’ot near Haifa and be broadcast live on Kan public television’s Channel 11.

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