Jewish High Holidays

WEB VIDEO This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly shows Rabbi Alan Lew describing the spiritual transformation Jews experience by observing the High Holidays. The Jewish High Holidays are a 10-day period of prayer and penitence beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ending with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. During this sacred time of reflection and repentance, Jews around the world attend special services, gather with friends and families for ritual meals and observe a day of fasting. A transcript, background essay, and discussion questions support the video.

Grand Mosque of Paris, The: Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deboarah Durland DeSaix.

BOOK This is a story pieced together from secret documents and memories of people about resistance against the Nazis in World War II France. It begins with a religious quote shared by Muslim and Jews "Save one life, and it is as if you've saved all of humanity." Holiday House, 2009.


WEB RESOURCE Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is one of the Jewish religion's most sacred and widely observed holidays. In Judaism, Passover commemorates the story of the Israelites' departure from slavery in ancient Egypt. Here is lots more information and context within Judaism.

Sukkot 101

WEB RESOURCE This article describes the history and rituals of Sukkot, an ancient Jewish harvest celebration. Many of the most popular rituals of Sukkot are practiced in the home, ss soon after the conclusion of Yom Kippur

Hanukkah 101

WEB RESOURCE You might also like Recipes for Hanukkah Hanukkah Food What You Need to Know About the Hanukkah Story Hanukkah My Jewish Learning is a not-for-profit and relies on your help Donate WEB RESOURCE Hannukah, or the Festival of Rededication, celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE. Although it is a late addition to the Jewish liturgical calendar, the eight-day festival of Hanukkah has become a beloved and joyous holiday. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and usually takes place in December, at the time of year when the days are shortest in the northern hemisphere.

Rosh Hashanah - The Jewish New Year

WEB RESOURCE Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of Judaism's holiest days. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday.This History channel has information, visual, rituals, and more about Rosh Hashanah

Judaism: Beliefs, Practices, Jewish-Christian Relations

WEB RESOURCE This Religious website provides a layman's overview of Jewish beliefs including the Hebrew scriptures. After this there are many topics with background information having to do with Shoah, Jewish-Christian relations, and Jewish views on various social issues.

Talmud Study

WEB VIDEO This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly examines a worldwide Talmud study program called Daf Yomi, meaning "a page a day." Reading a page a day, it takes seven-and-a-half years to finish all 2,711 pages of the Talmud, which consists of centuries of rabbinic commentaries on Jewish law and the meaning of the Torah, the first five books of the Jewish Bible. The wisdom of the Talmud is relevant to the lives of those who study it today. The video is supported by a transcript, a background essay, and discussion questions.

Jewish Hair-Cutting Ceremony

WEB VIDEO This video segment from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly shows a three-year-old boy from a Hasidic Jewish family getting his first haircut. Traditional Jews often wait until a boy turns three before cutting his hair. This first cut, performed during a festive celebration called an upsherin, marks the beginning of a boy's formal education, as well as his obligation to keep the commandments and perform good deeds, known as mitzvot in Hebrew. A transcript, background essay, and discussion questions support the video.

Restoring the Torah

WEB VIDEO This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly follows Neal Yerman, a sofer, or scribe, in Cherry Hill, N.J., as he works on a Torah recovered from the Polish town of Ostrof, where 9,000 Jews were killed by Nazis over three days in 1941. The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, is considered the holiest object in Jewish life. This video is supported by a background essay and discussion questions.

Jewish Burial Practices

WEB VIDEO This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly uses a mannequin to demonstrate the time-honored Jewish ritual of tahara, in which the dead are washed, purified and dressed in traditional shrouds before burial. In keeping with the Jewish belief of a communal responsibility to bury the dead, Jewish communities throughout the ages have established burial societies, called Chevra Kadishas, whose sole function is to care for the deceased from the time of death until interment. A transcript, background essay and discussion questions support the video.

A History of Judaism Hardcover (2018) by Martin Goodman

BOOK Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it has preserved its distinctive identity despite the extraordinarily diverse forms and beliefs it has embodied over the course of more than three millennia.

What You Will See Inside a Synagogue by Lawrence Hoffman and Ron Wolfson

CHILDREN'S BOOK Hoffman and Wolfson focus on the synagogues and services of three branches of American Judaism--Conservative, Reconstruction, and Reform. They introduce readers to Sabbath customs, prayer, the Torah, important holidays and life cycle events, and key tenets of the faith. These are related to the sanctuary and its contents. Large color photos supported by clear descriptive text help readers understand the faith and the worship service.Skylight Paths Pub., 2008. Elem. - MS

Jews in Ancient Rome

WEB RESOURCE This page of the PBS The Roman Empire: The First Century focuses on The experiences of the Jews in that period of history but also links to early Christian History.

Archeology of the Hebrew Bible

WEB RESOURCE This is a NOVA interview with biblical archaeologist William Dever, active in the field since 1955. In this interview, Dever describes some of the most significant archeological finds related to the Hebrew Bible, including his own hot-button discovery that the Israelites' God was linked to a female goddess called Asherah. The interview was conducted in Jerusalem in July 2007 by Gary Glassman, producer, writer, and director of "The Bible's Buried Secrets."

Global Religious Landscape: Jews

WEB RESOURCE This PEW Forum on Religion and Public Life site reports that there are about 14 million Jews around the world, representing 0.2% of the global population. The main branches of Judaism in the US include the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Other nations do not classify the branches of Judaism in this manner. Learn more at this site.

Sammy's First Shabbat by Sylvia A. Rouss

BOOK This preschool and primary grade book describes the observance of the sabbath by a Jewish family through a young child's perspective. Other books in the series include brief descriptions of Jewish holiday practices using the same model: Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah, Sammy Spider's First Passover, Sammy Spider's First Rosh Hashanah, Sammy Spider's First Yom Kipur, Sammy Spider's First Sukkot, Sammy Spider's First Simchat Torah, Sammy Spider's First Tu B'Shevat, and Sammy Spider's First Purim.

Why Jerusalem's Western Wall is so important to the Jewish faith

WEB VIDEO This short video shows Jews at the Western Wall in Israel. It features a dialogue by Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Holy Sites in Jerusalem explaining the significance of the Wall to modern Jews and its connections to Jewish theology historically. The video was recorded by BBC.

Inside the Synagogue: What do you need to know?

WEB RESOURCE The is a simple BBC visually rich website focused on the architectural elements of a Jewish Synagogue. It also points out the differences in rules of behavior among different Synagagues and worship traditions.

The Story of the Jews: Visual Timeline

WEB RESOURCE Discover major events in the diaspora of the Jews through this visual timeline of the most notable related international events. The timeline spans from 600 B.C.E., visiting Judea and Babylonia, to modern day Israel. Explore the chronology and impact of these events, as they collectively tell much of the story of the Jewish people.