Login to LibApps

Holidays and Cultural Observances: Jewish Holidays and Observances

Alphabetical listing of major observances

Descriptions taken from www.interfaith-calendar.org/

Jewish Holidays and Observances

Kosher restrictions apply: Jewish dietary guidelines which apply daily throughout the year.  These restrictions include pork, shellfish (fish is allowed) and mixing meat with dairy.


Individuals may require time away from campus for travel and observance. Note that all Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified  on most calendars. This is because a Jewish "day" begins and ends at sunset,  rather than at midnight


Hanukkah — Festival of Lights. It commemorates the Maccabean recapture and rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165-164 b.c.e. Special readings and praise songs focus on liberty and freedom. The eight candle Menorah is lighted


Rosh Hashanah — Jewish New Year. A time of introspection, abstinence, prayer and penitence. The story of Abraham is read, the ram's horn is sounded, and special foods are prepared and shared.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities. Food accommodations should be made for events.


Passover — 8-day celebration of the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The story of the Exodus is recounted, and the ongoing struggle of all peoples for freedom from internal and external tyranny is celebrated. A special meal is a central feature. Also called Pesach.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities. Food accommodations should be made for events. Besides Kosher restrictions, the use of leavening is prohibited; matzah is eaten in place of bread. 


Purim — celebration of the deliverance of the Jewish minority in Persia from genocide. Charity to the poor, sharing food with friends, and vigorous merrymaking mark the observance.


Simchat Torah — day to celebrate the reading of the Law. Synagogue services involve readings, processions and blessing of the children.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities. Food accommodations should be made for events.


Shemini Atzeret -- completion of the annual cycle of reading of the Torah.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities. Food accommodations should be made for events.


Shavuot --celebration of Moses' descent from Mt Sinai with the ten commandments. Plants and flowers are used in decorations.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities. Kosher restrictions apply but it is customary to eat dairy.


Sukkot — Feast of Tabernacles which celebrates the harvest and the protection of the people of Israel as they wandered in the wilderness dwelling in tents. Temporary dwelling places have leaves for a roof so the sky can be seen. In temperate climates, night is spent in the Succoth.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities. Food accommodations should be made for events.


Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Day. The day has been established to remember the six million Jews killed by the Nazis in 1933-45. It is observed by many non-Jews as well.


Yom Kippur — Day of Atonement. This holiest day of the Jewish year is observed with strict fasting and ceremonial repentance.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events or activities and after a day of fasting.

For more information

Credits

This guide is produced in partnership with the ASU Committee for Campus Inclusion (CCI), and The Council of Religious Advisors  (CORA).  The Committee for Campus Inclusion is an advisory group to the provost, promoting a positive, harmonious campus environment that celebrates individual and group diversity, promotes individualism, provides information to the campus community, and resolves issues in such a manner as to respect all persons and their dignity. For more information, please visit our website at https://inclusion.asu.edu/committee-campus-inclusion. Questions or additions to this resource can be submitted at https://inclusion.asu.edu/contact-committee-campus-inclusion.

The Council of Religious Advisors is comprised of campus ministries and faith-based organizations that represent a diverse variety of faiths, traditions, and beliefs. Despite the differences in faiths that exist between them, the group works peacefully and diligently on behalf of the university community to provide religious services, spiritual counseling, education, support, and opportunities for involvement.


This page owes a great thanks to: 

Holly Hubenschmidt

Director, Library Instruction & Research Services

Webster University Libraries

Ms.  Hubenschmidt created the original LibGuide and template on which this guide is based. 

 

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.