Congregation Mickve Israel hosts holiday services and events for all Jewish holidays. Please check our schedule for upcoming events and times.
High Holy Days
High Holy Days are a time for reflection, introspection, prayer, and re-connection. We welcome you to join us in celebrating and observing these special Holy days. We offer a variety of services to meet the spiritual needs of our diverse community. Please see the Schedule of Services for a list of dates, times, and locations of services.
Come share the spirit and wisdom of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. These Holy Days are a time of prayer, music, reflection and learning. Come and join our congregational family for a spiritually deep High Holy Day experience.
While our hospitality never diminishes, especially during the High Holy Days, and like everyone else we do have certain procedures to follow for seating at our services.
Congregation Mickve Israel does not issue or sell tickets for admission to our High Holy Day services, but seating preference is given to our members and their guests, affiliated members who have contacted us and then to non-members.
If you are affiliated with a synagogue and are interested in attending our High Holy Days services, please have your synagogue email a High Holy Day Reciprocity form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are not affiliated with a synagogue and are interested in attending our High Holy Days services, please contact the office at the number below, or email the office at email@example.com.
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest, as well as the commemoration of the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert after Sinai.
Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of Tishrei and is marked by several distinct traditions. One tradition, which takes the commandment to “dwell in booths” literally, is to build a sukkah, a booth or hut. A sukkah is often erected by Jews during this festival, and it is common practice for some to eat and even live in these temporary dwellings during Sukkot.
Simchat Torah, Hebrew for “rejoicing in the Law”, celebrates the completion of the annual reading of the Torah. Simchat Torah is a joyous festival, in which we affirm our view of the Torah as a tree of life and demonstrate a living example of never-ending.
Immediately following Sukkot, we celebrate Sh’mini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, a fun-filled day during which we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives. As part of the celebration, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B’reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.
Hanukkah (alternately spelled Chanukah), meaning ‘dedication’ in Hebrew, refers to the joyous eight-day celebratio, during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Maccabeees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E., and the subsequent liberation and ‘rededication’ of the Temple in Jerusalem. The modern home celebration of Hanukkah centers around the lighting of th chanukiyah, a special menorah for Hanukkah; foods prepared in oil include latkes (potatoe pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts); and special spngs and games.
Purim is celebrated with a public reading—usually in the synagogue—of the Scroll of Esther (M’gillat Esther), which tells the story of the holiday. Under the rule of King Ahashverosh, Haman, the king’s prime minister, plots to exterminate all of the Jews of Persia. His plan is foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who ultimately save the Jews of Persia from destruction. The reading of them’gillah typically is a rowdy affair, punctuated by booing and noise-making when Haman’s name is read aloud.
Purim is an unusual holiday in many respects. First, Esther is the only biblical book in which God is not mentioned. Second, Purim, like Hanukkah, traditionally is viewed as a minor festival, but elevated to a major holiday as a result of the Jewish historical experience. Over the centuries, Haman became the embodiment of every anti-Semite in every land where Jews were oppressed. The significance of Purim lies not so much in how it began, but in what it has become: a thankful and joyous affirmation of Jewish survival against all odds.
Pesach, known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning “order”) and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). On the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, Jews gather with family and friends in the evening to read from a book called the hagaddah, meaning “telling,” which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the Passover seder. Today, the holiday is a celebration of freedom and family.
Shavuot is the Hebrew word for “weeks” and refers to the Jewish festival marking the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, which occurs seven weeks after Passover. Shavuot, like many other Jewish holidays, began as an ancient agricultural festival that marked the end of the spring barley harvest and the beginning of the summer wheat harvest. In ancient times, Shavuot was a pilgrimage festival during which Israelites brought crop offerings to the Temple in Jerusalem. Today, it is a celebration of Torah, education, and actively choosing to participate in Jewish life.