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:

Holiday Dates Description
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 Activities for Seniors

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 Sunday, September 24 and lasts until sundown on Monday, September 25.

Activity Ideas
  1. Just like with 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.
Sukkot Activities for Seniors


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.

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.
Sh'mini Atzeret & Simchat Torah Activities for Seniors

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.

Activity Ideas
  1. Use paper and wooden skewers to make mini Torah scrolls.
  2. Make flags that residents can parade around with. S&S Worldwide has a great flag kit that you can use.
Hanukkah Activities for Seniors


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.

Activity Ideas
  1. Make latkes (potato pancakes) or sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
  2. Play the Dreidel game (spinning top game) with the grandkids.
  3. Make Chanukah cards to send to family members.
  4. Sing blessings with residents.

Need activities?

Save time and plug our activity ideas into your monthly calendar TODAY!