Holocaust Memorial at the California Legion of Honor in San Francisco (Photo/Library of Congress-Carol M. Highsmith)
Holocaust Memorial at the California Legion of Honor in San Francisco (Photo/Library of Congress-Carol M. Highsmith)

Bay Area programs to honor Holocaust victims, survivors

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorates the 6 million Jews and other victims who perished in the Holocaust. This year, it will begin on the evening of Wednesday, April 7 and end the following evening.

Local events include survivor testimonies, candlelighting ceremonies, music and documentary films. All events are virtual, and most require advance registration.

Sunday, April 4

Survivor speaks — Kol Hadash, a community for Humanistic Judaism, hosts a Holocaust survivor from the JFCS William J. Lowenberg Speakers Bureau talking about her experiences in the Netherlands and beyond. 11 a.m-1 p.m. Free, with registration.

Tuesday, April 6

“No Place On Earth” — Film and panel. On your own before the talk, watch a free streaming of the 83-minute 2012 docudrama about 38 Polish Jews who survived WWII by living in caves. Panel includes the film’s director, a caving expert, a Bay Area relative of some of the cave survivors and moderator Shana Penn of Taube Philanthropies. Co-presented by JCCSF, Emanu-El, JFCS Holocaust Center and Taube Center. 12-1:15 p.m. Free, with registration.

“The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos” — Judy Batalion talks about her nonfiction book “The Light of Days” in conversation with “Chutz-Pow! Superheroes of the Holocaust” lead artist M.L. Walker. Presented by Contemporary Jewish Museum, Book Passage and Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. 4 p.m. Free, with registration.

Wednesday, April 7

“JFCS: We Remember” — S.F.-based JFCS presents a reading of names of those who perished, a memorial service and a conversation between scholar Deborah Lipstadt and JFCS director Anita Friedman. Led by clergy from local synagogues. Submit names at link. 5 p.m. reading, 7 p.m. commemoration and program. Free, with registration.

North Peninsula commemoration — Peninsula JCC, Peninsula Temple Beth El and other local organizations sponsor a community event with a candlelighting, survivors’ biographies, prayer, music and song. Program booklet available for download. 7 p.m. Free, with registration.

Silicon Valley commemoration — Organized by the Cantorial and Rabbinic Association of Greater San Jose and Congregation Shir Hadash in partnership with Congregation Beth David, Congregation Sinai, Temple Emanu-El and Jewish Silicon Valley. 7-8:15 p.m. Free.

Berkeley synagogues’ commemoration — Presented by Congregations Beth El, Beth Israel and Netivot Shalom. 7:30-9 p.m. Free. Registration required.

Thursday, April 8

“Days of Commemoration” — S.F.-based JFCS Holocaust Center and JFCS Preisler Shorenstein Institute for Holocaust Education present four interactive sessions. Topics include survivor testimony, collective memory and expert-led conversations. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. One more session on April 9 at 1 p.m. Free, with registration.

“Songs of Remembrance” — Instructor James Sokol presents a multi-genre musical that honors Yom HaShoah. Includes Broadway, pop, opera and other musical styles. Presented by Peninsula JCC. 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Free, register by April 5.

City of Berkeley commemoration — Program includes a talk by survivor Edith Heine, a candlelighting to honor the victims, poetry by city councilmember Terry Taplin and music by a handful of performers including Cookie Segelstein. 2-3 p.m. Free, with registration.

Sunday, April 11

Sonoma County commemoration— Program with a focus on local Holocaust survivors Hans Angess, Al and Susanne Batzdorff and Lillian Judd, with musical performances and a candlelighting ceremony to honor Jewish survivors, Roma, gays and lesbians, the disabled, Righteous Gentiles and political prisoners during the Holocaust, and others targeted by genocide. 2-3:15 p.m. Free, with registration.