Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021

Jewish communities around the world commemorate Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the evening of April 7th and on April 8th this year. At Jewish Silicon Valley, we are marking this somber and deeply resonant occasion in a number of ways, many of which are listed on the Silicon Valley Holocaust Survivors Association web page. We encourage you to learn more about the Survivors Association and to participate in the observance that feels right to you.

This year, in the lead-up to Yom Hashoah, Jewish Silicon Valley and Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley teamed up on Operation Dignity to support emergency needs (medical, dental, vision, food, and home services/repair needs) for local Holocaust survivors. This effort raised over and beyond the $45,000 that will be matched dollar for dollar by The KAVOD SHEF Initiative that is in partnership with Seed The Dream Foundation. 100% of all dollars raised will go to serve the emergency needs of Holocaust survivors in our community. To learn more about the impact of Operation Dignity, click here.

Silicon Valley Yom Hashoah Commemoration, April 7 from 7:00-8:15pm. A virtual community-wide commemoration of Yom HaShoah. Organized by the Cantors and Rabbis Association of Greater San Jose and Congregation Shir Hadash, in partnership with Congregation Beth David, Congregation Sinai, Temple Emanu-El, and Jewish Silicon Valley .No registration necessary. You can view the live streaming event online here: youtu.be/Lo2npAHWA6M

Songs of Remembrance: A Multi-Genre Musical Commemoration of Yom HaShoah: April 8th from 11:00am-12:15pm. ln the early 1950s, Israel’s parliament passed a resolution establishing Yom HaShoah. This “Holocaust & Heroism Remembrance Day” has become a day commemorated by Jewish communities and individuals worldwide. Join popular San Francisco Bay Area instructor James Sokol to journey through an array of music – Broadway, pop, opera & more – exploring the theme of remembrance along the way. On Zoom. Free with advance registration.

REGISTER HERE. For more information, contact [email protected].

Sports as a Microcosm of Society: Racism and Antisemitism April 8 at 6:30pm. Sports functions as a microcosm of society in many ways–as a place where racism is perpetuated, and also a place where shared humanity is experienced. The 2016 film RACE (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3499096/, starring Stephan James) tells the story of Jesse Owens, the legendary athletic superstar whose quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics set him in a face-off with Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

As part of the community observance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the African American Community Service Agency and Jewish Silicon Valley join in sponsoring  a virtual screening of RACE, along with a virtual panel discussion.

When you register, you’ll receive a link that will allow you to watch the film free of charge, anytime on April 1, 2 or 3. After April 3, the film can be found on Amazon Prime.

The panelists for the April 8 discussion include Akilah Carter-Francique, Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society and Social Change at SJSU, Rabbi Laurie Hahn Tapper, Caleb Simmons, SJSU Basketball, and UCLA gymnast Sara Taubman. The panel will be followed by Zoom break-out discussions.


This program is proudly supported by the Israel Engagement Fund: A JCC Association of North America Program Accelerator, made possible by the generosity of several committed donors.

For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected].

On April 8, the day of Holocaust Remembrance, Santa Clara County Supervisor Mike Wasserman will be sharing via email and social media a recorded interview he has conducted with Henry Estreicher.  Henry is a local Holocaust survivor who will be turning 95 this month. Jane Jacobson, chair of the County Holocaust Remembrance committee of the JCRC, introduces both the Supervisor and Mr. Estreicher to the audience in the video. The recorded interview will be shared in an email from the Supervisor’s office on Yom HaShoah, April 8. To see this interview, sign up here to receive newsletters from Supervisor Wasserman. This interview continues the tradition of more than 25 years of the County Supervisors recognizing Holocaust Remembrance Day. The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) is expecting to return to planning a full program in the Government Building with student participation next year.

Through April 11:The Israeli American Council (IAC) would like to invite the entire community to take part in Six Million Steps, a unique international effort to preserve and perpetuate the memory of the Holocaust and bring attention to the alarming resurgence of antisemitism in the US and around the world. During the period of March 21 through April 11, you can walk or run to contribute toward six million steps, noting the number of steps you have taken in solidarity on the IAC website. Also, share photos or videos on your social media account using the hashtag #6MILLIONSTEPS (or email to [email protected]).

For more information, contact [email protected].

Conversation With a Holocaust Survivor: April 11 from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. A free, virtual program with the APJCC.

Boris Kapilevich, an 85 years young Holocaust survivor from San Jose, had a happy childhood until his birthplace, Minsk, was occupied by the Nazis when he was 5 years old. In his memoir, “Survivor,” Boris describes the life of Jews in the ghetto with the constant fear of being killed by Germans and Russian policemen. Boris and his mother survived the Holocaust but his older brother, who saved Boris’s life, couldn’t save his own and was killed in the ghetto. By chance, Boris and his mother escaped from the ghetto and found refuge. Join us for a heart-to-heart conversation with this amazing survivor. You are welcome to send us your questions for Boris, which you can submit when you register.

This free program is organized by the APJCC’s Israeli programs department, and will be conducted in English. For registration click here. For more information, contact [email protected].

“Days of Memory: From Commemoration to Celebration” is a signature, three-night viewing experience on Virtual J, featuring exclusive content created by the JCC Movement for Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, and Yom HaAtzmaut. This flagship event will use storytelling, first-person accounts, music, and more, so North America’s Jewish community can observe these Israeli holidays by exploring how telling and retelling is shaped by memory; transformed through commemoration; and, over time, shared in celebration.