Observing Yom HaShoah #JewishGenUpdates

Avraham Groll

April 8, 2021 / 26 Nisan 5781

Dear JewishGen Community,

For generations, Jewish tradition has associated the ritual of memory with the lighting of candles. A candle represents the past, for a flame is only as strong as its fuel source. Yet the light emanating from the candle also represents a focus on the future. We look to the candle and remember those who came before us, but do so within the context of learning from their experiences, and permitting the values our ancestors held most dear to illuminate and influence our lives today.

As we observe Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, JewishGen’s mission of remembrance and preservation becomes more pronounced and urgent. JewishGen’s work is designed to change us. It is supposed to transform us. And it should inspire us.

Our goal is for people to understand not only who their relatives were, but how they lived. What was important in their lives? What challenges did they face? How can their experiences influence and illuminate our life choices today?

Among JewishGen’s many projects of relevance to this day are the translations of Yizkor Books (memorial books), which provide insight into communal life before and during the Shoah. These accounts help us to visualize what life was like in a very personal way, while providing us the ability to transmit a more profound legacy for the future.

Take some time to explore these treasure troves of information, and perhaps find the book for your ancestral town. Many of these books also contain first-hand testimonies of what happened during the Shoah.

We also encourage you to explore our Holocaust Collection, which contains more than 3.6 million records about Holocaust victims and survivors. 

As with everything on JewishGen, we offer our resources at no charge.

Thank you for your continued support of our important work.

 - The JewishGen Team