Jewish communities around the world observe Holocaust Survivor Day

While International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Yom HaShoah focus on remembering the people who were murdered in the Holocaust, Holocaust Survivor Day honors survivors' achievements.

A Holocaust survivor and her great-granddaughter touch in a picture presented by Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on April 27, 2022. (photo credit: Karen Gillerman)
A Holocaust survivor and her great-granddaughter touch in a picture presented by Israeli President Isaac Herzog at the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on April 27, 2022.
(photo credit: Karen Gillerman)

Jewish communities in North America, Israel, Australia and Poland are observing Holocaust Survivor Day, an initiative launched by JCC Krakow recognizing the societal contributions of Holocaust survivors and honoring their legacies.

While International Holocaust Remembrance Day and Yom HaShoah focus on remembering the people who were murdered in the Holocaust, Holocaust Survivor Day honors survivors' achievements.

Events celebrating the accomplishments of Holocaust survivors are set to be held around the world this week, including in Seattle, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Palm Beach County, Sydney and Tel Aviv.

As part of the celebrations, 1,000 survivors attended a ceremony on Monday at Habima National Theater in Tel Aviv, along with Israeli government officials.

The event was organized in partnership with the Center Organizations of Holocaust Survivors, the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Federations of North America, the Seed the Dream Foundation and 60 international organizations.

The six Holocaust survivors standing by their candles, representing the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem's Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, April 7, 2021.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)The six Holocaust survivors standing by their candles, representing the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem's Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony, April 7, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Challenges facing Holocaust survivors

“Holocaust survivors endured the worst of human behavior and still managed to maintain their own humanity and to live meaningful, productive lives.”

Jonathan Ornstein, CEO, JCC Krakow

The Jewish Federations noted that while Holocaust survivors greatly contribute to their communities and inspire the world, 35% of survivors in the United States are in poverty. The organization added that it supports thousands of survivors through its Center on Holocaust Survivor Care and Institute on Aging and Trauma, and through partnerships with the KAVOD Survivors of the Holocaust Emergency Fund.

“Holocaust survivors endured the worst of human behavior and still managed to maintain their own humanity and to live meaningful, productive lives,” JCC Krakow CEO Jonathan Ornstein remarked. “Their strength and resilience must be a lesson to us all, especially as we struggle with a resurgence of antisemitism worldwide. They deserve our praise – and our respect and they certainly deserve their own day.”