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13,000 candles to be lit across the UK to mark Yom Hashoah

The candles, which come with the name, age, date and place of death of a victim of the Holocaust, will be lit on the evening of April 11.

    Thirteen thousand candles will be distributed across the UK this year for Yom Hashoah as part of a project to remember victims of the Holocaust.

    Volunteers from across the community helped to pack and distribute yellow memorial candles for the Yellow Candle Project, which was established in the USA over 30 years ago, was introduced to the UK last year by Masorti Judaism.

    The initiative will distribute 13,000 candles across the community — four times as many as it did last year.

    Paul Harris, chair of the UK project, said: “The aim is to enable families to educate children about the Holocaust in a meaningful way. We have been overwhelmed by the response.”

    The candles, which come with the name, age, date and place of death of a victim of the Holocaust, are to be distributed to over 50 cross-communal organisations and lit on the evening of April 11.

    Sam Cohen, 46, from Finchley, north London, helped to co-ordinate the packing of the candles, on Sunday.

    She said: “As survivors are dying out we have to find ways of remembering without them. You can look down at that candle and remember the person.”

    Mr Harris said the project would see organisations distribute the candles to members across the country, in advance of Yom HaShoah.

    Joe Woolf, of FZY, said the organisation had taken on 30 candles which would be distributed among its younger members.

    “It is the simplest of ideas that make the most impact,” he said.

    The 21-year-old said he was “moved to find candles with kids’ names on them as young as two”.

    Anthony Gee, 52, who attends Radlett United Synagogue, said: “I’ve lost family in the Holocaust, I’ve traced family, I’ve found out what happened to them.

    “When you pack up a candle for a one year old who died in Auschwitz it really makes you think.

    “These are people and they need to be remembered.”

     

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