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Sacred Days

The Rhythms of the Jewish Year

Temple Avodat Shalom is a modern Reform congregation with deep roots in our tradition. We celebrate the Holy Days and Festivals with prayer and song, both in Hebrew and English, and seek to offer all participants a meaningful and spiritual connection to each other, to the people Israel and to our God. On this page, we describe how we celebrate Holy Days and Festivals at our Temple and offer you links to the URJ holiday pages.
Calendar of Jewish Holidays



This warm, intimate service ushers in the Days of Awe and sets the tone for our High Holy Days’ services. We often begin the evening with a concert, a movie or learning session, followed by a congregational oneg before a late evening service. One of the highlights of our S’lichot service is when we communally change the covers on our Sifrei Torahfrom our everyday covers to the special white Holy Day covers.

Rosh Hashanah

Temple Avodat Shalom celebrates two days of Rosh HaShanah. Our Second Day service is youth lead. Community Tashlich is the morning of second day, held across the street in Van Saun Park.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is a full day experience starting with Kol Nidre on Erev Yom Kippur. Morning service is followed by afternoon break out sessions on site and online, afternoon service, Yizkor, and N’ilah. There are youth and family options throughout the day. 



Our observance of Sukkot begins shortly after Yom Kippur when our Brotherhood and their families build our Sukkah and our Religious School children decorate it. Our Sukkah is filled throughout the holiday with congregational and school events as everyone gets the opportunity to shake the lulav and smell the etrog.

Simchat Torah

Like most Reform congregations, we observe the holidays of Simchat Torah and Shemini Atzeret together. At our evening service, as we finish reading the final parsha of Deuteronomy but before we turn to Genesis, we surround the congregation with an unfurled Torah scroll held by all. We then joyously dance with the Sifrei Torah in our social hall in honor of completing the mitzvah of reading the complete Torah. We observe Yizkor the next morning.


On the Shabbat of Chanukah, we celebrate with a congregational dinner of latkes and other traditional foods before the special service in which we sing Chanukah songs. We also have a special Chanukah religious school morning and our annual Latka Throw Down & Talent Show.

Light the virtual Hanukkiyah (Memorah)

Send a holiday ecard

Tu BiSh'vat

Our annual “birthday of the trees” is celebrated in Religious School with special activities connecting our Jewish identity with our ecology and Tu BiSh’vat Tree-vea. We hold a special Tu BiSh’vat Shabbat close to the holiday.


Our Purim evening starts with a BYOB Megillah Reading & Study, followed by our lively congregational Purim Shpiel. We do Purim big at TAS. Highlights include the Adult Purim Bash party, Purim carnival run by our teens for the Religious School, and the beautiful mishloach manot (Purim gifts) from our Sisterhood. 


Pesach (Passover)

Pesach is traditionally a family observance at Temple Avodat Shalom for first and second night Seder. We observe a special passover study & Matzah Brei on the first day and Pesach Yizkor on the seventh day.


Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron & Yom HaAtzmaut

We commemorate these special holidays , in which we remember our loved ones and other members of klal Israel lost in the Holocaust or in defense of the State of Israel. We celebrate Israel’s Independence Day throughout our synagogue and Religious School with festival programming and an Israel Fair.


Counting of the Omer and Lag B’Omer

We begin counting the omer (counting the 49 nights between Pesach and Shavuot) on the second night of Pesach and continue throughout. We traditionally celebrate Lag B’Omer (the 33rd day) with a special outdoor program that includes our congregation and religious school.





We commemorate the revelation at Sinai and the giving of the Torah with a special dessert and study evening and Yizkor the following morning.


Tishah B'Av

Tishah B'Av, observed on the 9th (tishah) of the Hebrew month of Av, is a day of mourning the destruction of both ancient Temples in Jerusalem. Liberal Judaism never has assigned a central religious role to the ancient Temple, so mourning the destruction of the Temple may not be particularly meaningful to liberal Jews. We typically honor this somber holiday with a special program, speaker, or film.

Sat, June 15 2024 9 Sivan 5784