Israel began marking Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday evening.
The official state opening ceremony is taking place in Warsaw Ghetto Square at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem.
President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered remarks and Yad Vashem Chairman Dani Dayan was set to kindle the Memorial Torch.
During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors Tova Gutstein, Ben-Zion Raisch, Judith Sohlberg, Robert Bonfil, Efim Gimelshtein and Malka Rendel were each invited to light a torch, and Shoshana Weis spoke on their behalf.
Holocaust survivor Efraim Mol was chosen to recite the El Maleh Rahamim prayer for the souls of the departed.
Yad Vashem broadcast the ceremony live with simultaneous translation into English, French, Spanish, German, Hebrew and Russian via its websites in the respective languages. Additionally, simultaneous translation in Arabic is being offered on the Yad Vashem Arabic YouTube channel.
One of the central themes of this year’s commemoration is Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, as the world marks 80 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
In advance of the commemoration, the annual Shaping Memory competition was held to select the official poster for this year’s proceedings. Chosen by a panel of judges, the winning poster was designed by 25-year-old Mai Nizan from Ramat Hasharon.
“The black in the center of the poster reflects the stain left by the war on humanity and the decline of moral values. On the other hand, the sun orb symbolizes the regenerating power of nature, growth and hope in the shadow of hardship,” said Nizan.
Yad Vashem is partnering with the Our 6 Million organization to start a new tradition for Holocaust Remembrance Day, a memorial candle-lighting ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem. Individuals attending the state ceremony can light a candle bearing the name of a Holocaust victim before the start of the event. The general public is invited to light memorial candles in the Hall of Remembrance on Tuesday between 11 am and 4:30 pm.
Yad Vashem is calling on the public to fill out Pages of Testimony to commemorate every Jewish man, woman and child murdered during the Holocaust. Volunteers are available to help survivors submit Pages of Testimony.
Yad Vashem is also continuing its nationwide Gathering the Fragments campaign in an effort to preserve Holocaust-related documents, artifacts, photographs and artworks, as well as to interview, document and record video testimonies of survivors.