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									                               Explanation of Jewish Holidays
The purpose of this calendar...                          Rosh Hashanah - New Year                                Shabbat - The Sabbath
                                                          Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the
                                                                                                            This weekly celebration begins at sunset Friday
                                                     Jewish year and the Ten Days of Penitence. This
                                                                                                            and concludes one hour after sunset on Saturday.
                                                     two-day holiday is observed with day-long              Shabbat celebrates God’s completion of Creation
This calendar and holiday guide has been
                                                     synagogue services, the blowing of the shofar          and the desire to see peace and harmony in the
prepared by the Community Relations Council          (ram’s horn) and the eating of apples and honey,       world. As God rested on the Seventh Day of
of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh       symbolic of our hopes for a                            Creation, Jews are commanded to rest and refrain
to assist public officials, school administrators,   sweet year.                                            from work on Shabbat as a way to
teachers and private employers in planning                                                                  recreate an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
classes and events that will not conflict with the       Yom Kippur - Day of Atonement                      This weekly holy day is the most revered on the
                                                     The most holy of all Jewish holidays is devoted to
observance of major Jewish holidays.                                                                        Jewish Calendar.
                                                     synagogue services, fasting, prayer and repentance.
The First Amendment to the Constitution                                                                         Other major Jewish Holidays where it is
                                                         Sukkot - Feast of the Tabernacles,
guarantees the right of any American to                                                                          permissible to work or attend school:
                                                         Shemini Atzeret and
practice his/her religion. We hope that all
                                                           Simhat Torah
Americans will respect the religious                                                                            Hanukkah
                                                     This eight-day harvest festival is a holiday of
practices of his/her fellow citizens and                                                                    This eight day festival marks the victory of
                                                     thanksgiving and remembrance of the Israelite
permit the observance of holy days without                                                                  Jewish forces over the ancient Assyrians, and the
                                                     wanderings in the desert after the Exodus from
penalty or constraint.                                                                                      rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The
                                                     Egypt. Although Sukkot lasts for eight days,
                                                                                                            Jewish people fought for religious freedom and
                                                     Jews traditionally refrain from working on the
                                                                                                            were able to throw off the yoke of their Hellenistic
Explained in this guide are the biblically           first two days and the last day of the holiday. The
                                                     concluding day of Sukkot is called Shemini Atzeret.    oppressors.
mandated Jewish holidays when work or
                                                     Simhat Torah follows and marks the conclusion of
school attendance is traditionally prohibited.                                                                   Purim
                                                     the annual readings of the Torah - The Five Books of
Jewish individuals who observe these                 Moses. The conclusion of Simhat Torah marks            This day of Jewish merrymaking marks the
traditions may be absent from school and             the end of the High Holy Day season.                   salvation of the Jewish community from near
work on those days. While there are other                                                                   destruction by the Persian tyrant Haman. The
holidays on the Jewish calendar, these are                Passover                                          story of this victory is recorded in the Book
the holidays when work is expressly                  This eight-day festival commemorates the               of Esther.
forbidden.                                           Israelite Exodus from Egyptian slavery. Two
                                                     services (Seders) occur in Jewish homes on the             Yom Ha’Shoah - Holocaust Memorial Day
                                                     festival eve and first night. Work is prohibited on    Dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews
                                                     the first two and last two days of Passover.           murdered by the Nazis during World War II.

                                                          Shavuot - The Feast of Weeks                           Yom Ha’Atzmaut - Israel Independence Day
                                                     This holiday commemorates the receiving of             Commemorating the State of Israel’s Declaration
                                                     the Torah (Five Books of Moses) by the                 of Independence in 1948.
                                                     Israelites on Mount Sinai and is observed by
                                                     two days of synagogue attendance.
                         Five-Year Calendar of Jewish Holidays
                      Jewish holidays begin at sundown of the previous day.                                       Jewish
Rosh Hashanah
                     Sept. 17 & 18
                                        Sept. 5 & 6
                                                        Sept. 25 & 26
                                                                         Sept. 14 & 15
                                                                                            Oct. 3 & 4
                                                                                                              Holiday Guide
New Year
Yom Kippur
                     Mon. & Tues.
                       Sept. 26
                                       Thurs. & Fri.
                                         Sept. 14
                                                        Thurs. & Fri.
                                                           Oct. 4
                                                                         Mon & Tues.
                                                                           Sept. 23
                                                                                           Mon. & Tues.
                                                                                            Oct. 12
                                                                                                              and Calendar
Day of Atonement      Wednesday          Saturday         Saturday        Wednesday        Wednesday

Sukkot                Oct. 1 & 2       Sept. 19 & 20    Oct. 9 & 10      Sept. 28 & 29     Oct. 17 & 18
Feast of the         Mon. & Tues.      Thurs. & Fri.    Thurs. & Fri.    Mon & Tues.       Mon. & Tues.
Tabernacles                                                                                                   2012-2017             5773-5778
Shemini Atzeret       Oct. 8 & 9       Sept. 26 & 27    Oct. 16 &17       Oct. 5 & 6       Oct. 24 & 25
& Simhat Torah       Mon. & Tues.      Thurs. & Fri.    Thurs. & Fri.    Mon & Tues.       Mon. & Tues.
Hanukkah             Dec. 9 – 16     Nov. 28– Dec. 5     Dec. 17- 24      Dec. 7 - 14     Dec. 25 - Jan. 1
Festival of Lights   Mon. – Mon.     Thurs. - Thurs.    Weds.—Weds.       Mon.—Mon.        Sun. - Sun.

                       2013/5774        2014/5775         2015/5776        2016/5777        2017/5778
Purim                   Feb. 24         March 16          March 5          March 24          March 12
Festival of Esther      Sunday           Sunday           Thursday         Thursday          Sunday
Passover             March 26 & 27    April 15 & 16      April 4 & 5    April 23 & 24      April 11 & 12
                      Tues & Wed.     Tues. & Wed.       Sat. & Sun.     Sat. & Sun.       Tues. & Wed.

Concluding Days       April 1 & 2     April 21 & 22     April 10 & 11   April 29 & 30      April 17 & 18
of Passover          Mon. & Tues.     Mon. & Tues.       Fri. & Sat.     Fri. & Sat.       Mon. & Tues.
Yom Ha’Shoah            April 7          April 27         April 16          May 5            April 23
Holocaust               Sunday           Sunday           Thursday         Thursday          Sunday
Memorial Day
Yom Ha’Atzmaut         April 16           May 6           April 23          May 12            May 2
Israel                 Tuesday           Tuesday          Thursday         Thursday          Tuesday
Independence Day

Shavuot              May 15 & 16       June 4 & 5       May 24 & 25      June 12 & 13    May 31 & June 1
Feast of Weeks       Wed. & Thurs.    Wed. & Thurs.     Sun. & Mon.      Sun. & Mon.      Wed. & Thurs.

               Note: Shaded areas denote holidays when work is restricted
Call the Community Relations Council at 412.992.5234 for questions, concerns, or more copies of this guide.   234 McKee Pl | Pittsburgh, PA 15213
                                                                                                                412.992.5234 | www.jfedpgh.org

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