Celebrating the Holidays and Festivals are a beloved tradition at Temple Shalom. They are a time for gathering together to share in the joy of celebration and the warmth of community. In addition to Shabbat and our High Holy Days, we also fully celebrate these important Holidays and Observances as well:
Sukkot and Simchat Torah follow closely after the High Holy Days. Soon after Yom Kippur, you will find our Brotherhood building our communal Sukkah. Our Sukkot celebrations include dinner in the Sukkah and a fun family service featuring our 3rd grade receiving their prayer books in honor of their beginning their Hebrew studies in earnest. The festival concludes with our Simchat Torah Service during which we dance with our Torah Scrolls to celebrate the eternal cycle of their teachings and consecrate the new students of our Religious School. A highlight of the evening is the complete unrolling of one of the scrolls around the social hall.
On Chanukah, each night sees the lighting of our outdoor chanukiah by one of our Temple groups or our Temple families, often with their being a special treat for those who take part. All enjoy bringing the light of freedom to our community at large, especially as we also participate in lighting the Roxbury Township chanukiah. On the Friday evening during the festival, our Shabbat service are preceded by a unique Temple Shalom tradition, the Grand Chanukah Lighting, during which Temple families bring all of their chanukiahs to Temple and fill the social hall with their light.
Tu B’Shevat. We celebrate the of New Year of the Trees with a family Tu B’Shevat seder and ceremony with our religious school to appreciate the traditions and importance of planting trees plus taking care of our environment everywhere.
Purim brings fun and frivolity to our midst for children and adults alike. In addition to our Purim Pizza Party and traditional Purim service and Megillah reading, every year includes a Sunday morning Purim Extravaganza featuring crafts, Purim Spiels by our Youth Group and our teachers and, of course, the TSHY Purim Carnival where a fun time is had by all!
Passover is a time for offering our gratitude for our redemption from slavery in Egypt and the gift of freedom we enjoy. A Brotherhood Men’s Seder, a Sisterhood Women’s Seder, an Interfaith Seder, and Model Seders in the Religious School, and a Lay-led 2nd Night Seder all combine to make Passover a special time for our Temple Family.
Our congregation always looks forward to Shavuot, our joyful celebration of receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai and highlighted with our 10th Grade students’ Confirmation Service. During their service they share their most cherish values through the Ethical Wills they have worked on with the Rabbi and offer a taste of their lobbying visit to Washington D.C. with the Religious Action Center.
We have special Shabbat Services commemorating Kristallnacht and Yom HaShoah, plus the Israeli Holidays of Yom Hazikaron (Memorial Observances)/Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day), and Yom Yerushalayim (Reunification of Jerusalem). We are also proud of our participation with Interfaith Thanksgiving Services and Interfaith Shabbat honoring Dr. Martin Luther King.
In addition to our festive celebrations, the mornings of Atzeret/Simhat Torah, the last day of Passover and Shavuot include a service of Yizkor as we remember those who remain ever-present in our hearts.