Elon community plans Yom HaShoah commemoration on April 28

This year, the Ceremony of Remembrance and the Reading of the Names return to an in-person format.

This year, the Elon community will hold in-person commemorations of Yom HaShoah, or “Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and Heroism,” which begins at sunset on Wednesday, April 27 and ends at sunset Thursday, April 28.

Every year, the Elon community gathers to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust through the Reading of the Names and a Ceremony of Remembrance, to remind us all of the terrible deeds that can be carried out when bigotry, hatred and indifference are regarded as normal. The word “Shoah,” which means destruction, catastrophe or disaster, is the word used in Hebrew to describe the Holocaust. Jewish communities and individuals worldwide commemorate Yom HaShoah.

All community members – students, faculty and staff – are invited to participate in one or both of the events open to the wider Elon community.

Ceremony of Remembrance: Women of Valor
Sacred Space at the Numen Lumen Pavilion
Thursday April 28 | 9:50 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. 

Join us to mark Yom HaShoah with this powerful and meaningful ceremony, which will bring together readings, dance, music and personal reflections in an intimate format designed by Jewish educator Boaz Avraham-Katz and Associate Professor of History Andrea Sinn.

Elon students, faculty and staff will share art and words to remember the lives of those who died as a result of the racial purity measures in German-controlled Europe during World War II, to honor those who survived, and to remember their experiences during this dark time. This ceremony will take place during the time set aside for Numen Lumen, and we ask that you invite your students to be present for this important commemoration.

Reading of the Names
The front steps of the Moseley Center
Thursday, April 28 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Please sign up to read the names of those murdered in the Shoah, helping ensure that their memories are never forgotten. This annual tradition, led by Assistant Director of Jewish Life Hillary Zaken, emphasizes the depth of loss and will be occurring in communities around the world on this day. We encourage members of the Elon community to participate in this act of remembrance by signing up online for a 10-minute time slot of reading from books of names of those who perished in the Holocaust. Sign up here to read names.

Faculty and staff members are also encouraged to bring their classes and students during this time to witness the reading for 30-minute sessions. Bearing witness to the stories and names of those people who suffered under Nazi brutality is an important reminder of that terrible time, the atrocities committed by the Nazis and the powerful acts of resistance and efforts to preserve human dignity on the part of victims and survivors.

The Reading of the Names is an important way to memorialize the victims of the Shoah and occurs throughout the world on Holocaust Remembrance Day. The name of the ceremony derives from the poem, “Unto Every Person There is a Name,” written by the poet Zelda (1914–1984).

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have to Hillary Zaken, Assistant Director of Jewish Life, Boaz Avraham-Katz, Jewish Educator at Hillel and Hebrew Instructor, or Andrea Sinn, O’Briant Developing Professor, Associate Professor of History and Director of Jewish Studies.