Jewish Holidays & Celebrations
Jewish Year 5778
September 2017-August 2018
All Jewish Holidays begin at sunset the evening before.

Rosh Hashanah: September 21-22, 2017
Yom Kippur: September 30, 2017
Sukkot: October 5-6, 2017
Shemini Atzeret: October 12, 2017
Simchat Torah: October 13, 2017
Hanukkah: Dec 13-20, 2017
Tu B'Shevat: January 31, 2018
Purim: March 1, 2018
Pesach (Passover): March 31 - April 7, 2018
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance):
     April 12, 2018
Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel's Independence):
    April 19, 2018
Lag B'Omer: May 3, 2018
Shavuot: May 20-21, 2018
Tisha B'Av: July 22, 2018
Throughout the year, the Jewish Holidays are rich in meaning and provide us with precious opportunities to pause and take time to refresh during our busy lives.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins the ten-days of repentence, known as the High Holidays. Rosh Hashanah is also known as the "birthday of the world", the "day of remembrance" and is characterized by the blowing of the shofar. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the ability of people to change and grow, as it is a time for deep thought, self-examination, and prayer.

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiday in which the Jewish people ask for forgiveness and forgive others. Yom Kippur, the most solemn and holy day of the Jewish year, is the last day of the ten days of awe and marks the end of the ten-day period of the High Holidays.

Sukkot is a fall harvest festival and commemorates the time the Jewish people lived in temporary huts (sukkot) during their wandering and during their time of harvest in the fields. Sukkot is a time of feasting and of giving thanks for the harvest.

Simchat Torah, meaning "rejoicing with the Torah", is a festive holiday. On Simchat Torah the last portion of the Torah in the book of Deuteronomy and the first verses of the book of Genesis are read in the same Temple service, signifying that the Torah has no beginning and no end.

Hanukkah, a joyous holiday celebrated for eight days, celebrates the rededication of the Temple after the victory over the Greeks. It is also called the "Festival of Lights" in remembrance of the miraculous oil that burned in the Temple menorah for eight days at the time of the rededication.

Tu B'Shevat celebrates the "Birthday of the Trees." It is customary to plant trees on Tu B’Shevat.
 
Purim is one of the happiest of Jewish holidays. It derives from the biblical story of Esther and celebrates the Jewish people's success over people who tried to destroy them. It is customary to send mishloach manot (gifts ) and read the Megillah.

Passover
celebrates the most important event in Jewish history, which is the Jewish people's exodus from slavery in Egypt, their eventual freedom and their arrival in the promised land in Canaan. Passover, or Pesach, is named after G-d's 'passing over' of the Israelite houses during the tenth plague and is celebrated for eight days with a special seder and eating matzah.

Yom Ha-atzmaut, Israel's Independence Day commemorates its establishment once again as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Lag Ba Omer, a minor holiday is celebrated on the 33rd day of the 50 days of the counting of the "omer", or the measure of ripened barley. It is celebrated with outings, bonfires and events.

Shavuot celebrates the day the Jews were given the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is also a celebration of the time of harvest and the offering of the first fruits of the new harvest. On Shavuot the Jewish people decorate the synagogue with greens and flowers, wear white clothing, and eat dairy dishes.

Tish'a B'Av is in memory of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem.

Shabbat is celebrated every Friday night to Saturday night and commemorates the creation of the world, as the world was created in six days and the seventh day was the day of rest. It is a time for people to come together each week to be with family and friends, to rest, to think, to share, and sing. It begins with blessings while lighting candles, drinking wine, and eating challah.
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