Jewish Calendar for Schools 2012-15-Oakland_ CA

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					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:
by the Jewish people. Teachers may find
this calendar helpful as it identifies                                             Websites
opportunities for objective instruction  
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
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
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
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
history. September 17, 2012 marks the
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.

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