When the sun sets on May 5, 2024, it will mark the beginning of Yom HaShoah 2024. This year the Tel Aviv JLIC community will gear up for a series of solemn yet profoundly meaningful events to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. Led by the dedicated Rav Joe Wolfson and his wife, Corinne Shmuel, the community is set to embrace this opportunity to honor the memory of the six million Jews who perished at the hands of Nazi Germany and its collaborators, as well as to pay tribute to the resilience of the Jewish spirit during one of history’s darkest chapters.

Yom HaShoah, known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, holds immense significance in Israel and within Jewish communities worldwide. It serves as a somber reminder of the atrocities committed against the Jewish people and the enduring importance of remembrance and education in preventing such horrors from ever happening again.

This year, the Tel Aviv JLIC community is seizing the opportunity to make this commemoration particularly poignant. Rav Joe, in a heartfelt message to the community’s WhatsApp group, acknowledges the solemnity of the occasion and emphasizes the importance of preserving and honoring the stories of survivors while they are still with us. He notes the fleeting nature of this opportunity, recognizing that future generations will not have the privilege of hearing firsthand testimonies from those who lived through the Holocaust.

One of the most touching initiatives organized by the community is a special Shabbat meal with Ahuva, a 96-year-old Holocaust survivor who resides in the heart of their neighborhood. Ahuva, living alone without much company, longs for companionship and connection. Rav Joe extended an invitation to members of the community to join Ahuva for a monthly Shabbat meal, starting with the Shabbat before Yom HaShoah. This act of solidarity and remembrance embodies the spirit of compassion and empathy that defines the Tel Aviv JLIC community.

In addition to the Shabbat meal with Ahuva, the community has planned a series of events throughout the week to honor and remember the victims of the Holocaust. On Friday, May 10th, they will gather at the home of Zeni Rosenstein, an artist and Holocaust survivor, to hear her story firsthand. This intimate gathering offers a unique opportunity for members of the community to connect with a survivor and gain a deeper understanding of the human impact of the Holocaust.

Throughout the week, the community will also embark on visits to individual survivors across the city. These visits serve as a powerful reminder of the resilience and strength of those who endured unimaginable suffering during the Holocaust. Additionally, the weekly shiur given by Rav Joe, known as THINK, will focus on the themes of Yom HaShoah, providing further opportunities for reflection and discussion.

As the Tel Aviv JLIC community comes together to commemorate Yom HaShoah, they do so with heavy hearts yet unwavering determination to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust lives on. Through acts of remembrance, education, and solidarity, they honor the six million lives lost and reaffirm their commitment to never forget.

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