Programming Commemoration: Holocaust Remembrance Day Television Broadcasts on Public and Commercial Television

Oren Meyers, Eyal Zandberg, Motti Neiger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The legal prohibition on the operation of theatres, cinemas and restaurants during Holocaust Remembrance Day drastically limits the public’s recreational choices and directs Israelis towards participation in this ritual of mass bereavement via television viewing.1 And so, despite the difficult and demanding contents of Holocaust Remembrance Day broadcasts, the average ratings achieved by Israeli television channels on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day2 over the years have been relatively similar to those recorded on regular prime time evenings, in which most Israeli channels feature the usual mix of news, comedies, talk shows and reality shows. Moreover, the average aggregated ratings (2002–11) of the ceremony at Yad Vashem, which opens Holocaust Remembrance Day and is simultaneously aired on Israel’s leading public and commercial channels is 29 per cent.3 Viewing audiences of this size — that is, more than 1.6 million Israeli viewers — are usually recorded on broadcast evenings featuring highly popular reality shows or especially dramatic sporting events. Finally, the airing of Schindler’s List on Channel 2, Israel’s leading broadcast channel on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in 1998, yielded the highest ratings (48.8 per cent) recorded throughout the channel’s entire first decade of broadcasting. Therefore, the ceremonies, dramas, documentaries and newscasts aired by Israeli television channels on Holocaust Remembrance Day offer the most heavily attended mnemonic public events of that day.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationPalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NamePalgrave Macmillan Memory Studies


  • News Broadcast
  • News Item
  • Panel Discussion
  • Prime Time
  • Program Commemoration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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