Hundreds of synagogues in Israel and around the world turned on their lights on Wednesday night to commemorate the 84th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night between November 9th and 10th, 1938, that the Nazis carried out a pogrom against Jews all over Germany and Austria.
Synagogues and Jewish-owned businesses were burned down, their windows smashed, hundreds of Jews were murdered, and thousands were arrested and sent to concentration camps.
This is the 15th year in which the project is being led by the Kibbutz HaDati (The Religious Kibbutz movement) and has been adopted by the Chief Rabbinate, Tzohar Rabbinic Organization, World Bnei Akiva, the World Union of Synagogues and other organizations.
Two Ukrainian synagogues to follow suit amid war
The custom of turning on synagogue lights throughout the night has been adopted by hundreds of synagogues in Israel, Europe, the United States, South America and Australia. Two synagogues in Kyiv and Kharkiv will also leave their lights on, despite Ukraine’s war with Russia.
Dalia Yohanan, one of the project’s initiators, and a member of HaKibbutz Hadati (Religious Kibbutz movement). recalled that her father, who was in Germany on Kristallnacht, was very moved by the light that spread out from the synagogue on Kibbutz Tirat Zvi years ago.
“This is a symbolic step of turning on the lights during the same night that they went out. Our project is meant to tell their stories and remember that terrible and dark night,” Yohanan said.