More than 40 programs connecting teens, families, and communities across the world will feature dozens of Holocaust survivors sharing their stories
WASHINGTON, DC & WORLDWIDE—With most in-person Yom HaShoah ceremonies and events cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, BBYO will be hosting a record number of online events via its digital content platform, BBYO On Demand, beginning at 1 PM ET on Monday, April 20, 2020. With over 40 confirmed events planned by BBYO chapters, regions, communities, and partners around the world, programs will bring participants together to bear witness to the testimonies of Holocaust survivors, and to think, sing, talk, and most importantly, listen to their stories together
Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, takes place this year from sundown April 20 to sunset April 21. BBYO teens in countries including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay, will be leading commemorative programs throughout the week designed to create a virtual community of remembrance for all those who perished during the Holocaust.
“Although face-to-face activities are on hold this year, we’re still able to make connections and hear powerful stories from survivors who live around the world,” noted Jill Goldwasser, BBYO’s teen vice president of Jewish enrichment. “This past Saturday, I joined BBYO Australia’s Havdalah ceremony where I heard a local teen share the inspiring story of how his grandmother survived the Holocaust. Connecting this way, through a digital platform, makes it accessible for even more teens to hear stories of strength and perseverance at a time when we need it most.”
Partners participating in BBYO’s Yom HaShoah programs include Zikaron BaSalon, the March of the Living, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Colegio Colombo Hebreo, the World Union of Jewish Students, and Maccabi Tzair Israel. Zikaron BaSalon (Hebrew for “Living Room Memories”) is an innovative and meaningful way to commemorate Yom HaShoah which allows Holocaust survivors to share their stories with subsequent generations from the comfort of a living room.
Highlights of this year’s Yom HaShoah programming, details of which can be found on BBYO On Demand, include:
- Remembering Together: Zikaron BaSalon and Yom HaShoah Opening Ceremony—Monday, April 20 | 1 PM ET (live on Facebook)
- GEC: Kindertransports and the Righteous Gentiles, featuring U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Curator Suzy Snyder, and Survivor Eva Paddock—Monday, April 20 | 4 PM ET
- Yom HaShoah Ceremony for Latin American Jewish Day Schools—Tuesday, April 21 | 9 AM ET
- International Zikaron BaSalon with Holocaust Survivor, Sami Steigmann, hosted by BBYO Lonestar Region—Tuesday, April 21 | 5 PM ET
- An Evening to Remember: Yom HaShoah 5780, Closing and Reflections—Tuesday, April 21 | 9 PM ET (live on Facebook)
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, BBYO has transitioned from an event-driven organization to an organization focused exclusively on connectivity, and launched BBYO On Demand, a 24/7 virtual hub in which any Jewish teen can create or participate. Called a “Jewish Netflix for live-streamed programming" by the press, BBYO On Demand gives teens worldwide access to an innovative digital space filled with activities, events, and experiences they can tune into from anywhere, anytime. These experiences include art classes, video game tournaments, book clubs, chapter meetings, coffee house/open mic performances, cooking demonstrations, community service projects, prayer services, esports matchups, TikTok challenges, voter registration drives, and more. Since launching the platform, nearly 50,000 users have participated in 2,500 programs in just under five weeks.
Additional information about the range of Yom HaShoah programs being held throughout the week can be found on the website. Participants are also encouraged to follow @BBYOInsider on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, to stay up to date on events and information.
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. For more than 95 years, BBYO‘s leadership programs the Aleph Zadik Aleph (AZA, high school fraternity) and the B’nai B’rith Girls (BBG, high school sorority) have been providing exceptional leadership programs and identity enrichment experiences, shaping the confidence and character of more than 400,000 alumni who are among the most prominent figures in business, politics, academia, the arts, and Jewish communal life. Now, BBYO’s network of Jewish teens, alumni, parents, volunteers, and philanthropists serves as the Jewish community’s most valuable platform for delivering to the post Bar/Bat Mitzvah audience fun, meaningful, and affordable experiences. With year-round activities in hundreds of local communities and inspiring world-wide travel experiences, BBYO’s broad program menu enables teens to explore areas of leadership, service, civic engagement, Israel education, and Jewish values.
Please note that BBYO should not be referred to as the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, but rather as “BBYO.”
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