Thousands of events and ceremonies will take place in Israel on Thursday, Holocaust Memorial Day. After a siren sounds at 10 AM – at which time Israelis stand at attention, reflecting on the tragedy of the destruction of European Jewry in the Holocaust – events will be held in schools, synagogues, IDF bases, at Yad Vashem, and many other venues.
The main ceremony at Yad Vashem will take place at 1 PM, while Knesset members will take turns reading out the names of the victims. Youth groups will gather at Yad Vashem for a special ceremony later in the afternoon, and the day will be capped by memorial ceremonies at Yad Mordechai, named for the Warsaw Ghetto hero, and Kibbutz Lochamei Hageta'ot [kibbutz named for Ghetto fighters, ed.],Thursday evening.
In Europe, meanwhile, some 18,000 Jewish youths and adults will participate in the March of the Living, a trek which brings participants from the death camps of Poland and Germany, to Israel, where they will arrive in time for Independence Day next week. Leading the March, among others, are Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Tel Aviv's Chief Rabbi, and Israel Police Commander Yochanan Danino. Among a delegation of police attending the March are a number of officers whose parents are survivors.
Among the student groups attending is one from Turkey. The delegation consists of two members 17 and 18 years old respectively. They asked that their names not be published, given the tense situation in their homeland, but they said that visiting the concentration camps was a very moving experience for them, despite the fact that their families, living in Turkey, did not experience the Holocaust firsthand as did the families of most participants in the March.