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The Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals, are observed throughout the Hebrew calendar and include religious, cultural, and national elements. They are derived from three sources: Biblical mitzvot (commandments), rabbinic mandates, and the history of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

We invite you to explore each of the Jewish holidays and learn their history, customs, and blessings by clicking on the links provided.

  • Rosh Hashanah

    Rosh Hashanah

    Rosh HaShanah (literally, "Head of the Year") is the celebration of the Jewish New Year, observed on the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. It marks the beginning of a ten-day period of prayer, self-examination and repentance, culminating Read More
  • Yom Kippur

    Yom Kippur

    Yom Kippur is the "Day of Atonement" and refers to the annual Jewish observance of fasting, prayer and repentance. This is considered to be the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. In three separate passages in the Torah, the Jewish Read More
  • Sukkot

    Sukkot

    Sukkot begins five days after Yom Kippur and is named after the booths or huts (sukkot in Hebrew) in which Jews are supposed to dwell during this week-long celebration. It is one of the three major pilgrimage festivals of ancient Read More
  • Simchat Torah

    Simchat Torah

    Simchat Torah, which means “Rejoicing in Torah,” occurs on the last day of Sukkot. It is a celebration marking the conclusion of one and the beginning of another annual cycle of reading from the Torah.  On Erev Simchat Torah we Read More
  • Purim

    Purim

    Purim, or the Feast of Lots, is a joyous holiday that is recounted in the Book of Esther. It tells of the saving of the Jews during the Persian Period (539-330BCE). Purim is celebrated by the reading of the Scroll Read More
  • Passover

    Passover

    Pesach, known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning "order") and a Read More
  • Yom Ha Shoah

    Yom Ha Shoah

    Children and adults join together in the sacred task of memory and hope as we remember together the destruction of European Jewry. Survivors of the Shoah, together with our students, witness together the possibilities of courage, goodness and hope. URJ Read More
  • Tisha B'Av

    Tisha B'Av

    Evening study and candle-lit service inaugurate the 24-hour fast day set aside for the remembrance of the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem 2,500 and 2,000 years ago. A brief history of the building and destruction of Read More
  • Tu Bish'vat

    Tu Bish'vat

    Tu BiSh’vat, also called the New Year of the Trees, is observed on the 15th (tu) day of Sh’vat. Scholars believe that Tu BiSh'vat was originally an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. After the destruction of the Temple Read More
  • Hanukkah

    Hanukkah

    Hanukkah, or the Festival of Rededication, celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE.  We celebrate by lighting one more candle on the chanukiah after each day of Hanukkah. We eat foods cooked in oil, such as Read More
  • Lag Ba'Omer

    Lag Ba'Omer

    The period between Pesach and Shavuot is called the “Counting of the Omer” (sefirat ha’omer), after the ancient rite of the bringing of the first sheaf (omer) of the barley harvest to the priest (Lev. 23:9-14). Lag Ba'Omer is the shorthand Read More
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Jewish Holidays

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12.26.2016