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Hanukkah

Tucson J Holiday Resource Guide

The High Holy Days

Tucson J Holiday Resource Guide

In the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah takes place during the month of Kislev. This year, the first night of Hanukkah is Sunday evening, December 18 and will end the evening of Monday, December 26.

During the holiday of Hanukkah we celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after it was desecrated by the Greeks who wanted the Jews to assimilate and not hold on to ancient Jewish traditions. When Judah Maccabee and his brothers (the heroes of the Hanukkah story who helped rededicate the Temple) went to kindle the flame on the menorah, seven branched candelabra that used to stand in the Temple, there was not even enough oil to last for a day. Tradition teaches that the oil lasted for eight days. Another version of the story is that Hanukkah was more of a Civil War between Jews who assimilated into Greek life and Jews who did not want to assimilate. Regardless of the story that resonates with us, Hanukkah is about freedom of identity, resilience, and bringing light into the world during times of darkness.

To celebrate the holiday, we light the hanukkiyah, nine-branched candelabra – a candle for each day of the holiday, and the shamash, the helper candle. It is also customary to eat foods fried in oil and be a helper, just like the shamash.

Resources

Enjoy perusing through these resources and if you want more information or ideas, contact Tucson J Director of Jewish Life & Learning, Jennifer Selco at jselco@tucsonjcc.org.

Please click the links below for High Holy Days congregational information of Southern Arizona

Congregation Chofetz Chayim (Orthodox)(520) 747-7780The Shul of Tucson (Orthodox)(520) 975-4489Congregation Bet Shalom (Traditional Egalitarian)(520) 577-1171Congregation Anshei Israel (Conservative)(520) 745-5550Congregation Beit Simcha (Reform)(520) 276-5675Congregation Chaverim (Reform)(520) 320-1015Congregation M’kor Hayim (Reform)(520) 305-8208Kol Ami Synagogue (Reform)(520) 327-4501

Beth Shalom Temple Center (Non-denominational)(520) 648-6690Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging (Non-denominational)(520) 881-2323Secular Humanist Jewish Circle (Non-denominational)(520) 577-7718University of Arizona Hillel Foundation (Non-denominational)(520) 624-6561Chabad of Oro Valley (Chabad)(520) 477-8672Chabad on River (Chabad)(520) 661-9350Chabad of Sierra Vista (Chabad)(520) 820-6256Institute for Judaic Services and Study (Saddlebrook)(520) 825-8175

Synagogues in Tucson

 

Congregation Anshei Israel (Conservative)
(520) 745-5550

Congregation Beit Simcha (Reform)
(520) 276-5675

Congregation Bet Shalom (Traditional Egalitarian)
(520) 577-1171

Beth Shalom Temple Center (Non-denominational)
(520) 648-6690

Congregation Chaverim (Reform)

(520) 320-1015con

Congregation Chofetz Chayim (Orthodox)
(520) 747-7780

The Secular Humanist Jewish Circle 
(520) 296-3762

Temple Emanu-El (Reform)

(520) 327-4501

Institute for Judaic Services and Study (Saddlebrook)
(520) 825-8175

Congregation M’kor Hayim (Reform)
(520) 305-8208

Congregation Or Chadash (Reform)
(520) 512-8500

Chabad of Oro Valley (Chabad)
(520) 477-8672

Chabad of Sierra Vista (Chabad)
(520) 820-6256

The Shul of Tucson (Orthodox)
(520) 326-8362

Hanukkah

During the holiday of Hanukkah we celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after it was desecrated by the Greeks who wanted the Jews to assimilate and not hold on to ancient Jewish traditions. When Judah Maccabee and his brothers (the heroes of the Hanukkah story who helped rededicate the Temple) went to kindle the flame on the menorah, seven branched candelabra that used to stand in the Temple, there was not even enough oil to last for a day. Tradition teaches that the oil lasted for eight days. Another version of the story is that Hanukkah was more of a Civil War between Jews who assimilated into Greek life and Jews who did not want to assimilate. Regardless of the story that resonates with us, Hanukkah is about freedom of identity, resilience, and bringing light into the world during times of darkness.

 

To celebrate the holiday, we light the hanukkiyah, nine-branched candelabra – a candle for each day of the holiday, and the shamash, the helper candle. It is also customary to eat foods fried in oil and be a helper, just like the shamash.

Resources

Enjoy perusing through these resources and if you want more information or ideas, contact Tucson J Director of Jewish Life & Learning, Jennifer Selco at jselco@tucsonjcc.org.

The Jewish Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur is 10 Tishrei of the Hebrew Calendar or Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at sunset and ends at sundown on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. 

Yom Kippur is the conclusion of the Days of Awe (Yom Noraim) which begin on Rosh Hashanah. According to tradition, God seals the Books of Life and Death for the coming year. The day is spent reflecting on our mistakes over the past year and thinking about how we will strive to do better in the New Year. It is traditional to attend synagogue, wear white, fast, and then “break the fast.” Another tradition is tzedekah (charity); on Yom Kippur, we are encouraged to help feed those less fortunate. 

Use this resource guide to find meaningful content and opportunities for reflection.

  • BimBam / Yom Kippur: Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions through short and engaging videos. 
  • Do You 10Q: Reflect. React. Renew.  An online journal site that provides a free service to answer life’s biggest questions. 
  • JewBelong /  Yom Kippur: For When You Feel You Don’t. Find relatable and humorous content for all things Jewish, even Yom Kippur. 
  • My Jewish Learning / Yom Kippur: Read about the holiday’s history and ways to celebrate at home and with community. 
  • PJ Library / Yom Kippur: A one-stop site for families with young children, including age appropriate ways to engage children on Yom Kippur. 

The Festival of Booths

Sukkot begins at sundown on Sunday, October 9 and ends at sundown on Sunday, October 16, 2022 (15-21 Tishrei). 

Sukkot is the one Jewish holiday during which we are commanded to be joyous. During Sukkot we remember the wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt. We also celebrate the fall agricultural harvest. Did you know that Sukkot is one of three pilgrimage festivals, and in ancient days, was one of the times when people made their way to Jerusalem? Pesach and Shavuot are the other two pilgrimage festivals.

To celebrate Sukkot, we spend time in a sukkah, booth, and shake the Lulav and Etrog (also known as the Four Species).

Use this resource guide to learn more about the symbols and customs of Sukkot!

  • BimBam / Sukkot: Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions through short and engaging videos. This site features a short Lego animation film and a new way to think about Ecclesiastes.
  • JewBelong: For When You Feel You Don’t.  Find relatable and humorous content for all things Jewish, including the holiday of Sukkot.
  • Blue Dove Foundation: The Blue Dove Foundation was created to help address the issues of mental illness and addiction in the Jewish community and beyond. They provide thoughtful resources connected with each of the Jewish holidays in addition to other information and workshops.
  • My Jewish Learning: Read about the holiday’s history and ways to celebrate at home and with community.
  • PJ Library: A one-stop site for families with young children.

Shemini Atzeret- The Eighth Day of Sukkot

Shemini Atzeret is 22 Tishrei of the Hebrew Calendar or begins on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at sundown and ends at sundown on  Monday, October 17 (or Tishrei 23/Tuesday, October 18 for some Jewish communities).

The eighth day of Sukkot is a full holiday, on which prayers for rain are recited. It serves to remind us that the fertility of the land in the coming year is being determined, and we pray that the future is productive. A memorial service is also held.

Simchat Torah- Day of Celebrating Torah

Simchat Torah is 23 Tishrei of the Hebrew Calendar or begins on Monday, October 17, 2022 at sundown and ends at sundown on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. 

The holiday of Simchat Torah, while associated with Sukkot, is a separate, full holiday itself. Simchat Torah is Hebrew for “Rejoicing in the Torah” and the holiday is a time of grand celebration for the entire community. On Simchat Torah, the cycle of reading from the Torah is ended with Deuteronomy 34 and begun again with Genesis 1. Reform and some Conservative Jews, along with all Jews living in the State of Israel, combine Simchat Torah with Shemini Atzeret. In each synagogue, the Torah scrolls are taken out and carried around in a series of processions, often accompanied by dancing.  At the conclusion of reading a book of the Torah we say: “Chazak, chazak, venitchazek”— Be strong, be strong, and let us be of good courage to build a living Judaism through commitment and action.

Please enjoy some of our favorite Shemini Atzeret + Simchat Torah resources for deeper learning:

 BimBam / Shemini Atzeret or Simchat Torah: Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions through short and engaging videos.

Blue Dove Foundation: Shemini Atzeret or Simchat Torah: The Blue Dove Foundation was created to help address the issues of mental illness and addiction in the Jewish community and beyond. They provide thoughtful resources connected with each of the Jewish holidays in addition to other information and workshops.

My Jewish Learning: Read about the holiday’s history and ways to celebrate at home and with community.

PJ Library Shemini Atzeret or Simchat Torah: A one-stop site for families with young children.

Day of Mourning

Tisha B’Av begins on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 at sundown and ends at sundown on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

Tisha B’Av occurs on the 9th day of the Hebrew month, Av. Tisha B’Av which commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples in Jerusalem, and other great tragedies in Jewish history. During this holiday, we mourn, but we also remember the importance of finding joy and comfort in the hardest of times.

Love and Rebirth

Tu B’Av begins on Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at sundown and ends at sundown on Wednesday , August 2, 2023.

Tu B’Av or the Jewish Day of Love, is celebrated on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av. It is both an ancient and modern holiday. Originally a post-biblical day of joy, it served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women during the time of the second temple. It is traditional to eat grapes because this holiday correlates with the grape harvest in which single women would dress in white and dance in the vineyard under a full moon to attract a significant other. For this reason, It has become the Jewish Day of Love, slightly resembling Valentine’s Day here in the US, and is more widely celebrated in Israel.

Here are some ways people celebrate Tu B’Av:

  • Throw a Loving Day Celebration
  • Enjoy a Romantic Comedy
  • Go dancing with friends
  • Plan a date night with someone special
  • Tell people in your life you love them

Wear white (In ancient times, this was a costume for those who wanted to marry so no one knew who was rich or poor when they would dance around Jerusalem under the full moon)    

Check out this delicious recipe created just for Tu’BAv: Tahini Vanilla Ice Box Cake

Here is another delicious recipe: Red Wine Crumble

Dance of the Twelve Sisters: A Tu’bAv Story:

Read about the Tu’BAv ritual celebrating transgender transition

Enjoy this poem: Shir Hashirim- The Song of Songs  

PJ Library shares some ideas on how to celebrate with your children

The Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah is 1-2 Tishrei on the Hebrew Calendar or begins Sunday, September 25, 2022 at sundown and ends at sundown on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. 

Rosh Hashanah is Hebrew for “head of the year” and is the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah begins the ten day period known as the Yamim Noraim, the days of awe. During this period, we reflect on ways that we have missed the mark over the past year. The shofar, ram’s horn is sounded as a wakeup call and reminder to return to our best selves. It is customary to eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year.

We invite your family to this resource guide and the enclosed activities to learn about and/or celebrate the New Year:

  • Do You 10Q?: Reflect. React. Renew. : An online journal site that provides a free service to answer life’s biggest questions. The best part, they store your answers for you to look back on year after year.
  • PJ Library: A one-stop site for families with young children. Find recipes, songs, and books to share with children in preparation for and over the New Year.

  • JewBelong: For When You Feel You Don’t: Find relatable and humorous content for all things Jewish!

  • BimBam: Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions through short and engaging videos.

The Jewish Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur is 10 Tishrei of the Hebrew Calendar or Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at sunset and ends at sundown on Wednesday, October 5, 2022. 

The day is spent reflecting on our mistakes over the past year and how we will strive to do better in the New Year. On the day that many choose to fast, we are encouraged to help feed those less fortunate than us by helping organizations that feed others.

Use this resource guide to find meaningful content and opportunities for reflection.

BimBam

Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions through short and engaging videos. https://www.bimbam.com/yomkippur/

Do You 10Q?: Reflect. React. Renew.

An online journal site that provides a free service to answer life’s biggest questions. https://www.doyou10q.com/

JewBelong: For When You Feel You Don’t

Find relatable and humorous content for all things Jewish, even Yom Kippur. https://www.jewbelong.com/holidays/yom-kippur/

My Jewish Learning

Read about the holiday’s history and ways to celebrate at home and with community. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/yom-kippur-101/

PJ Library

A one-stop site for families with young children, including age appropriate ways to engage children on Yom Kippur. https://pjlibrary.org/yom-kippur

The Festival of Booths

Sukkot is 15-21 Tishrei or begins on Sunday, October 9, 2022 at sundown and ends at sundown on Sunday, October 16, 2022. 

Sukkot is the one Jewish holiday during which we are commanded to be joyous. During Sukkot we remember the wandering in the desert after leaving Egypt. We also celebrate the fall agricultural harvest. Did you know that Sukkot is one of three pilgrimage festivals, and in ancient days, was one of the times when people made their way to Jerusalem? Pesach and Shavuot are the other two pilgrimage festivals.

To celebrate Sukkot, we spend time in a sukkah, booth, and shake the Lulav and Etrog (also known as the Four Species).

Use this resource guide to learn more about the symbols and customs of Sukkot!

BimBam

Learn the basics and gain confidence about Jewish holidays and traditions through short and engaging videos. This site features a short Lego animation film and a new way to think about Ecclesiastes.

https://www.bimbam.com/judaism-101/sukkot/

JewBelong: For When You Feel You Don’t

Find relatable and humorous content for all things Jewish, including the holiday of Sukkot.

https://www.jewbelong.com/holidays/those-other-holidays/

Blue Dove Foundation

The Blue Dove Foundation was created to help address the issues of mental illness and addiction in the Jewish community and beyond. They provide thoughtful resources connected with each of the Jewish holidays in addition to other information and workshops.

https://thebluedovefoundation.org/sukkots-connection-to-mental-health/

My Jewish Learning

Read about the holiday’s history and ways to celebrate at home and with community.

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/sukkot-101/

PJ Library

A one-stop site for families with young children.

https://pjlibrary.org/sukkot

Shemini Atzeret- The Eighth Day of Sukkot

Shemini Atzeret is 22 Tishrei of the Hebrew Calendar or begins on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at sundown and ends at sundown on Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The eighth day of Sukkot is a full holiday, on which prayers for rain are recited. It serves to remind us that the fertility of the land in the coming year is being determined, and we pray that the future is productive. A memorial service is also held.

Simchat Torah- Day of Celebrating Torah

Simchat Torah is 23 Tishrei of the Hebrew Calendar or begins on Monday, October 17, 2022 at sundown and ends at sundown on Tuesday, October 18, 2022. 

The ninth day, associated with Sukkot but a separate, full holiday itself, is a time of grand rejoicing for the entire community. In each synagogue, the Torah scrolls are taken out and carried around in a series of processions, often accompanied by dancing. On Simchat Torah, the cycle of reading from the Torah is ended with Deuteronomy 34 and begun again with Genesis 1. Reform and some Conservative Jews, along with all Jews living in the State of Israel, combine Simchat Torah with Shemini Atzeret, omitting the ninth day. At the conclusion of reading a book of the Torah we say: “Chazak, chazak, venitchazek”— Be strong, be strong, and let us be of good courage to build a living Judaism through commitment and action.

Celebrating Torah

 

Celebrating Torah

 

Celebrating Torah

 

Purim occurs on the the Hebrew calendar date of Adar 14. Purim is a Jewish holiday which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman in the ancient Persian Empire, a story recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. In the synagogue, the Megillah (Scroll) of Esther is read aloud evening and morning. Each time Haman’s name comes up, young and old alike make a clamorous noise to blot it out. A popular noisemaker is the “grogger,” a noisemaker is usually used to make noise. 

More Holiday Resources:

CLICK HERE for a fun 4-minute video from BimBam that tells the story of Purim

Purim is another one of those they-tried-to-kill-us-and-failed holidays. It commemorates the story of Queen Esther, who won a beauty contest, but the prize was to marry the King of Persia. The king decided to follow the advice of his advisor, Haman, to kill all the Jews, of course, not realizing that that included his wife. Then Esther had to convince the King not to go through with his plan. Lucky for us, she convinced him. Phew. And instead Haman got hung in the gallows that he built for the Jews. The celebrations often include Purim Schpiels (A funny skit that tells the Purim story. Often includes dressing up in costumes so some people call it the Jewish Halloween, but really, it’s not.) And lots of dress up! And eating hamentashen (triangle shaped cookies reminiscent of Haman’s hat). Adapted from www.JewBelong.com.

Purim’s Connection to Mental Health from Blue Dove Foundation CLICK HERE

Visit myjewishlearning.com (for adults) or pjlibrary.org (especially for families) for additional information.

Celebrating Torah

 

Celebrating Torah

 

Celebrating Torah

 

Hamantaschen

Hamantaschen are a traditional Purim cookie. They are a triangle shaped pastry with filling. The cookie is very symbolic and is usually interpreted as representing the three cornered hat worn by Haman.  

The J will be selling Hamantaschen from Monday, March 7 through Friday, March 18, while supplies last. 

There are no pre-orders. 

  • 1 cookie, $2
  • 5 cookie pack, $9
  • 10 cookie pack, $18