Festivals and Holidays

Jewish Liturgical CalendarThe cycle of holidays and festivals of the Jewish calendar affords the BJ community the opportunity to rejoice together as we mark the changing of the seasons and trace our people’s journey from slavery to redemption. The cycle also reminds us of our responsibility to apply the lessons of our collective history to the world around us.

Each holiday brings us closer together as individuals, families, and members of a community dedicated to uncovering the wisdom found in attuning ourselves to the sacred rhythms of the year. Through learning and preparation, prayer and song, and the practice of mitzvot particular to each occasion, we strive to awaken our senses and to evoke the emotional power of the time.

“You shall rejoice in your festival, with your son and daughter, your male and female servant, the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow in your communities…for Adonai your God will bless all your undertakings, and you shall have nothing but joy.”

— Deuteronomy 16:14-15

In addition to prayer services, BJ offers additional pathways into the observance of each holiday. Festivals are often preceded by classes and events designed for various age groups, and BJ publishes holiday music (recorded by our Hazzan and Rabbis) and recipe books featuring foods appropriate for the time of year. Holidays also give us an opportunity to strengthen our connection to the larger Jewish community as BJ co-sponsors film screenings, lectures and concerts, partnering with local synagogues and communal agencies across the New York area.