Jewish Activity Guide for Summer

Find fun activity ideas for your Jewish residents for the upcoming Jewish holidays this summer, like Tu B'Av and Rosh Hashanah.

Summer Jewish Holidays:

Holiday Dates Description
Tu B'Av Saturday, July 24 (begins sundown July 23) Jewish Day of Love
Rosh Hashanah Tuesday, September 7 (begins sundown Sept. 6) - Wednesday, September 8 The Jewish New Year
Yom Kippur Thursday, September 16 (begins sundown Sept. 15) The Day of Atonement
Sukkot Tuesday, September 21 (begins sundown Sept. 20) - Monday, September 27 The Feast of Tabernacles
Tu B'Av

Tu B'Av

Tu B'Av is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar that is celebrated as a holiday of love, much like Valentine's Day. Traditionally, it marked the beginning of the grape harvest; however, in modern times, it is thought of as a romantic holiday, with a focus on singing, dancing, and the giving of flowers. This year Tu B'Av begins at sundown on Friday, July 23 and lasts until sundown on Saturday, July 24.

Activity Ideas
  1. Host a Champagne and Chocolates Happy Hour for the couples in your facility.
  2. Invite residents to pick flowers from your garden to make corsages and boutonnieres to wear for the day.
  3. Organize a Romantic Movie Marathon in your Activity Room, featuring romantic comedies like the 1940 film His Girl Friday, with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, and the 1934 film It Happened One Night, with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert.

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Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. Customs of Rosh Hashanah include the lighting of candles, the sounding of a Shofar (ram's horn), and the eating of sweet treats like apples and honey. This year Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Monday, September 6 and lasts until sundown on Wednesday, September 8.

Activity Ideas
  1. Go apple picking.
  2. Create New Year's Cards that residents can share with families.
  3. Contact your local synagogue & have them come in to blow a Shofar (ram's horn).
  4. Live-stream Rosh Hashanah services from a synagogue.

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Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is one of the holiest days of the Jewish year. Known as the "Day of Atonement," the customs of Yom Kippur include fasting and prayer. This year Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 15 and lasts until sundown on Thursday, September 16.

Activity Ideas
  1. Just like at Rosh Hashanah, you can live-stream services for residents.
  2. Prior to Yom Kippur, help residents make a "Memory Book" full of old photos and other memories. On Yom Kippur, residents can share some of their memories with each other.
  3. Read residents the story of Jonah and the Whale, which is traditionally read on Yom Kippur.

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Sukkot, also referred to as the "Feast of Tabernacles," is an eight-day holiday in which observers eat their meals during the week in a sukkah, to represent the huts in which the Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after escaping from slavery in Egypt. This year Sukkot begins at sundown on Monday, September 20 and lasts until sundown on Monday, September 27.

Activity Ideas
  1. Build a miniature Sukkah using graham crackers and icing.
  2. Contact your local synagogue and ask them to come in with a Lulav and Etrog for your residents to see, smell, and say a blessing over.

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