Jewish Calendar and Resource Guide This resource guide is designed to encourage public awareness of the Resources religious and ethnic observances followed To view this guide online visit: www.jfed.org/jcrc by the Jewish people. Teachers may find this calendar helpful as it identifies Websites opportunities for objective instruction www.myjewishlearning.com www.judaism.about.com www.jewfaq.com about Jewish culture. It also serves as a Books reminder of observances that may result Mordechai Becher: Gateway to Judaism: The What, How, and Why of Jewish Life. in absences from school. Mesorah Publications, 2005. Administrators and teachers may find the Nina Beth Cardini and Gila Gevertz: Rediscovery of Jewish Holidays: calendar useful when scheduling special Tradition in a Modern Voice. Behrman House Publishing, 2002. programs and examinations by helping Michael Strassfeld: The Jewish Holidays: A Guide and Commentary. Collins, 1993. them avoid those Jewish observances that fall on school days. There is wide Organizations variation of religious Jewish practices. Jewish Community Relations Council, East Bay Region 510-318-6417 Therefore, some students and staff mem- Jewish Community Federation of the Greater East Bay 510-839-2900 bers will be absent for religious purposes Jewish Community Information and Referral 415-777-4545 such as synagogue attendance and reli- gious ceremonies, while others may not. Holocaust Library and Education Program of Northern California 415-777-9060 In America today, the three largest Jewish For general information about the JCRC go to www.jcrc.org movements are orthodox, conservative, and reform. Observances 2012-2015 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 The East Bay region of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) serves as the central public affairs arm Rosh Hashanah Sept. 17-18 Sept. 5-6 Sept. 25-26 of the organized Jewish community and empowers the community to engage in Yom Kippur Sept. 26 Sept. 14 Oct. 4 tikkun olam (repairing the world) through social justice projects. The JCRC is a Sukkot Oct. 1-7 Sept. 19-25 Oct. 9-15 beneficiary of The Jewish Federation of the East Bay. Shemini Atzeret Oct. 8 Sept. 26 Oct. 16 Jewish Community Relations Council East Bay Region Simchat Torah Oct. 9 Sept. 27 Oct. 17 300 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610 510-318-6417 www.jcrc.org Chanukah Dec. 9-16 Nov. 28-Dec. 5 Dec. 17-24 JCRC: Pursuing a just society and Jan. 26 Jan. 16 Feb. 4 secure Jewish future Tu B’Shevat Purim Feb. 24 Mar. 16 Mar. 5 Passover Mar. 26-Apr. 2 Apr. 15-22 Apr. 4-11 Yom HaShoah Apr. 7 Apr. 27 Apr. 16 Yom Ha’Atzmaut Apr. 16 May 6 Apr. 23 Shavu’ot May 15-16 June 4-5 May 24-25 Please note: All Jewish religious observances begin at sundown on the evening before the date above. For example, Rosh Hashanah 2012 (the Jewish New Year) begins the evening of September 16. Jewish Holidays Throughout The Year The Jewish year celebrates events from Spring Observances the bible, middle ages, and modern PESACH history. September 17, 2012 marks the (Passover) beginning of the Jewish year 5773. The This eight-day Festival of Freedom Jewish calendar is a lunar/solar calendar; celebrates the deliverance of the therefore, the dates of these holy days, ancient Israelites from Egyptian bond- festivals, and days of remembrance will age. The most commonly observed vary from year to year. Even though the ritual of Passover is the abstention of dates of the Jewish religious observances consuming leavened bread products to will be different each year, they will symbolize that when the Jews fled always be celebrated in the same season. Egypt, they did not have time to let The Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat) begins each their breads rise. Families gather for a week on Friday at sundown and ends traditional meal, or seder, where the Saturday at sundown. story is retold, and symbolic foods are eaten. Many students will eat matzo Fall Observances instead of bread, and other dietary ROSH HASHANAH restrictions may be observed. Students (Jewish New Year) may miss school the first two and last This two-day observance marks the two days of this holiday. beginning of the holiest time of YOM HASHOAH the year for Jews: the Ten Days of (Holocaust Remembrance) Penitence. It is a time for synagogue Yom HaShoah commemorates the services, reflection, prayer, repentance, victims of the Holocaust of World and family gatherings. Jews do not at- Winter Observances War II. Under Hitler’s “Final Solution,” tend school or work on these holy days. CHANUKAH six million Jews were annihilated. In YOM KIPPUR (Festival of Lights) many ceremonies, six candles are lit (Day of Atonement) This eight-day holiday is a celebration —one for each million Jews who This is the most solemn day of the of religious freedom and commemo- perished. Kaddish, the traditional Jewish year and signals the end of the rates the re-dedication of the Temple in mourners’ prayer, is usually recited at Ten Days of Penitence. It is devoted Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. Families cele- the end of the ceremony. Jews unite in to fasting, prayer, and synagogue brate in their homes by lighting candles universal mourning and remembrance. services. Jews do not attend school for eight nights, exchanging gifts, eating No school or work is missed. or work on this holy day. special foods, and playing dreidel, a YOM HA’ATZMAUT SUKKOT spinning top game. No school or work (Israel Independence Day) (Harvest Festival) is missed. Yom Ha’Atzmaut is the celebration of This eight-day celebration is actually TU B’SHEVAT Israel’s independence, subsequent made up of three distinct holidays. The (Festival for Trees) to the United Nations’ vote to establish first two days are Sukkot, a time of This holiday is similar to Earth Day. the state of Israel. Festivities may in- thanksgiving. To commemorate the People plant trees and celebrate all clude fireworks, parties, or picnics. The dwellings of the ancient Israelites during the things that trees provide for us. observance in the United States is a the harvest, many families build tempo- No school or work is missed. way for American Jews to express their rary huts (sukkot) in which they eat and solidarity with Israel. No school or PURIM work is missed. even sleep. The seventh day, Shemini (Feast of Lots) Atzeret, marks the end of the holiday Based on the biblical Book of Esther SHAVU’OT season that began with Rosh Hashanah. (The Megillah), Purim celebrates the (Festival of Weeks) The eighth day, Simchat Torah, foiling of a plot to kill the Jews in Coming in late Spring, this two-day celebrates the conclusion of the year-long ancient Persia. A ritual of Purim is to holiday observes the giving of the cycle of reading the Torah (the five books read the story from The Megillah of Torah (the Five Books of Moses) on of Moses) and the beginning of a new how Esther and Mordecai prevented Mount Sinai, and commemorates cycle. Some may miss school or work for Haman from exterminating the Jews. ancient Israel’s acceptance of the Torah the first two and last two days of this No school or work is missed. and its obligations. School or work may eight-day celebration. be missed.