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Rosh Hashanah

One of the most sacred times of the year, the High Holy Days include Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During these holidays, we reflect on the past year, take stock of our lives, and recommit to our values for the year to come.

Yom Kippur

One of the most sacred times of the year, the High Holy Days include Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During these holidays, we reflect on the past year, take stock of our lives, and recommit to our values for the year to come.

Passover

Passover commemorates the formative Jewish narrative of the Exodus from Egypt and the journey from slavery toward freedom. During Passover, we hold seders, or ritual meals, during which we tell this story and contemplate its meaning in our lives today. We eat matzah, or unleavened bread, for the duration of the week-long festival, since the Torah teaches that the Israelites left Egypt in such a hurry, that they did not have time for their bread to rise.

Shauvot

Exactly 50 days after the second Passover seder, we celebrate the holiday of Shavuot, where we commemorate receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. On this holiday, it is customary to study Torah deep into the night and to eat dairy foods to respect the sanctity of this momentous event.

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av, or “the 9th of the Hebrew month of Av” is a day of mourning and fasting in the Jewish calendar. On this day, we commemorate the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, as well as other tragedies that have occurred throughout Jewish history. It is tradition to read the biblical book of Lamentations, which outlines the destruction of our sacred city, Jerusalem.

Sukkot

Sukkot is a week-long festival where we remember the Jewish people’s Exodus from Egypt. During this “Time of Rejoicing,” we live in temporary huts called “Sukkot” — the same types of dwellings our ancestors built as they journeyed through the desert toward freedom.

Simchat Torah

Each week, Jews around the world read a single Torah portion, and we make our way through the entire Torah over the course of a year. On the joyful and festive holiday of Simchat Torah, we complete this annual Torah reading cycle… and begin it again anew!

Hanukkah

Every winter, when the days are short and cold, we celebrate Hanukkah, during which we commemorate the victory of the Maccabees over an oppressive regime that did not allow Jews to practice Judaism. We also celebrate the beauty of light in the darkness by telling the miraculous story of a jug of oil that was supposed to light a menorah (candelabra) for only one night but instead lasted for eight! It is customary to eat oily foods on this holiday, including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).