Jewish Activity Guide and Holidays for Autumn
Find fun activity ideas for your Jewish assisted living residents for the upcoming autumn Jewish holidays, including Sukkot and Chanukah.
Autumn Jewish Holidays:
|Yom Kippur||Monday, September 25 (begins sundown September 24)||The Day of Atonement|
|Sukkot||Saturday, September 30 (begins sundown September 29) – Friday, October 6||The Feast of Tabernacles|
|Sh’mini Atzeret||Saturday, October 7 (begins sundown October 6)||Eighth Day of Assembly|
|Simchat Torah||Sunday, October 8 (begins sundown October 7)||Day of Celebrating the Torah|
|Chanukah||Friday, December 8 (begins sundown December 7) – Friday, December 15||Festival of Lights|
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 Sunday, September 24 and lasts until sundown on Monday, September 25.
- Just like with Rosh Hashanah, you can live-stream services for residents.
- 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.
- Read residents the story of Jonah and the Whale, which is traditionally read on Yom Kippur.
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 Friday, September 29 and lasts until sundown on Friday, October 6.
- Build a miniature Sukkah using graham crackers and icing.
- 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.
Sh’mini Atzeret & Simchat Torah
Immediately following Sukkot are two more observances: Sh’mini Atzeret (“Assembly of the Eighth Day”) and Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing in the Torah”). Customs of these observances include singing and dancing with the Torah. This year Sh’mini Atzeret begins at sundown on Friday, October 6 and lasts until sundown on Saturday, October 7. Simchat Torah begins at sundown on Saturday, October 7 and lasts until sundown on Sunday, October 8.
- Use paper and wooden skewers to make mini Torah scrolls.
- Make flags that residents can parade around with. S&S Worldwide has a great flag kit that you can use.
Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah) is the Festival of Lights that is an eight-day celebration to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Customs of Chanukah include the lighting of the menorah, preparing foods in oil like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), singing blessings, and playing games. This year Chanukah begins at sundown on Thursday, December 7 and lasts until sundown on Friday, December 15.
Save time and plug our activity ideas into your monthly calendar TODAY!