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Opening Ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day begins at 20:00 Tonight


"Everything is Forbidden to Us, and Yet We do Everything":

The Struggle to Maintain the Human Spirit during the Holocaust is the central theme for this year's commemoration ceremonies and events


(04 May 2016 – Jerusalem) The official Opening Ceremony for Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day will take place on Wednesday, 4 May 2016 at 20:00, in Warsaw Ghetto Square, Yad Vashem, Mount of Remembrance, Jerusalem.  


Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will both deliver remarks. Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, will kindle the Memorial Torch. Zahava Roth will speak on behalf ofthe survivors.

During the ceremony, Holocaust survivors will light six torches. First torch: Sara Kain, second torch: Robert Tamashof, third torch: Jehosua Hesel Fried, fourth torch: Joseph Labi, fifth torch: Chaim Grosbein, sixth torch: Lonia Rozenhoch. During the ceremony, short videos about each of the torchlighters will be shown, produced and directed by Shlomo Hazan. These videos will be available on the Yad Vashem website in the section dedicated to Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The ceremony will include the traditional memorial service including the recitation of a chapter from Psalms by The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau. The Rishon LeZion, Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef will recite the Kaddish and Cantor Israel Parnes will recite El Maleh Rahamim, the Jewish prayer for the souls of the martyrs. Participants in the ceremony will include singer Kobi Aflalo and the IDF Paratroopers’ Honor Guard. Narrative pieces: Actress Netta Garti. The evening’s MC will beDanny Cushmaro.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on television on Channels 1, 2, 10 and 33, on Channel 9 in Russian, and on the news website Walla, as well as on radio on Kol Israel and Galei Zahal. It will last about 75 minutes.

Yad Vashem has a special webpage dedicated to Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, including information about the events and ceremonies as well as relevant educational materials

Yad Vashem will be closed to the public as of 12:00 noon on Wednesday, 4 May. It will re-open on Thursday, 5 May at 11:00. The Holocaust History Museum will be open to the public from 09:00 on Thursday 5 May. Throughout Holocaust Remembrance Day, 5 May, special guided tours and behind-the-scenes gatherings will be open to the public. The events will take place in Hebrew and are free of charge. The full listing and times are available on

Yad Vashem continues to calls on the public to fill out Pages of Testimony to commemorate the names of Jews murdered during the Holocaust. Volunteers are available to help Holocaust survivors fill out Pages of Testimony.  For more information, please call: +972-2-6443111. Yad Vashem is also continuing the Gathering the Fragments campaign in an effort to rescue Holocaust-related documents, artifacts, photographs and art. To donate material to Yad Vashem, please call +972-2-644 3888. Additionally, the Testimony Section of the Yad Vashem's Archives Division is continuing to interview and document video testimony of survivors. Yad Vashem staff can visit survivors in their homes and videotape their testimony. For more information or to schedule a session, please call +972-6443131 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..