Shining a light on Shoah victims

Yellow candle campaign has added significance when there will be no physical gatherings to mark Yom HaShoah


More than 30,000 yellow candles, each commemorating a Holocaust victim, are being distributed across the community to mark Yom HaShoah.

Recipients are asked to light the candle on erev Yom HaShoah (20 April) and upload a picture to social media with the hashtag #yellowcandle. Maccabi GB, which is managing the annual campaign, hopes that public figures including the Prime Minister and Lord Sugar will take part.

The campaign has added significance this year with the ban on public ceremonies.

Nick Gendler, one of the project instigators,told the JC that as a home-based remembrance, it ensured some level of commemoration.

However, as many of the candles had been sent to synagogues and other communal buildings before their closure, the hope was that volunteers could retrieve them and deliver to individuals’ homes.

“I think that as we lose more and more survivors, it is important for us to find ways of personalising the Shoah,” added Mr Gendler, 56. It was also a way to “gently introduce children to this horrific topic”.

Recipients include Hale Synagogue member Ben Browson, who praised organisers on “doing an unbelievable job” in ensuring the candles’ delivery.

The 25-year-old has been doing his bit by distributing 96 candles in the South Manchester area.

His own candle remembers Gabi Kleinmann, a nine-year-old murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.

Caroline Fraser, 51, a member of Yeshurun Hebrew Congregation in Cheadle, has received candles for herself and family members. She said that while it was sad that there would not be public ceremonies, “you don’t need big events to remember the people who died in the Holocaust”.

Her own candle is in memory of Juda Fiszman from Paris, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942, aged 36.

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