New Israeli Holidays

Since the establishment of the State of Israel, four new holidays have been added to the Jewish calendar.

  • Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day)
  • Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day)
  • Yom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day)
  • Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)

These holidays are observed in Israel as national holidays.

Yom HaShoah, also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, occurs on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan. The Hebrew word “Shoah” means “catastrophe” or “utter destruction” and it refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. It is a memorial day for those who perished in the Holocaust (a Greek word meaning “sacrifice by fire”).

Yom HaAtzmaut, the Israeli Independence Day, marks the establishment of the modern state of Israel in 1948. It is observed on or near the 5th of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls on a day in April.
The Israeli Knesset established the day before Yom HaAtzmaut as Yom HaZikaron, a Memorial day for all the soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the War of Independence and in other subsequent battles.

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. The day is officially marked by state ceremonies and memorial services. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to mark the regaining of access to the Western Wall.