The Jewish calendar is filled with holidays and festivals that commemorate important milestones in our history as well as nature's cycle in the Holy Land. Our observance of these ranges from the solemn (Yom Kippur) to the joyous (Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu B'Shevat, Passover and Shavuot) to the downright silly (Purim). We also commemorate more recent events in our people's history, such as Yom HaShoah. For each of these annual occasions, we have strived to create a service appropriate to the occasion.
Begin a spiritual journey as we “work” to prepare ourselves to enter into the season of awe and renewal. In preparation for the Days of Awe, we gather for Selichot to look inward and focus on personal growth and reflection.
Celebrate the New Year and usher in the High Holy Days with the TBE Community. Click here to view TBE's High Holy Day Information page.
Join us in prayer during the evening service on the Day of Atonement. Click here to view TBE's High Holy Day Information page.
The most solemn religious holy day of the Jewish year, the last of the ten days of penitence that begin with Rosh Hashanah. Click here to view TBE's High Holy Day Information page.
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning "booths" or "huts," refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the 40 years of Jewish wandering in the desert after the giving of the Torah atop Mt. Sinai. Sukkot is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur on the 15th of the month of Tishrei, and is marked by several distinct traditions. One, which takes the commandment to dwell in booths literally, is to erect a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut. Sukkot (in this case, the plural of sukkah) are commonly used during the seven-day festival for eating, entertaining and even for sleeping.
Sukkot also called Z’man Simchateinu (Season of Our Rejoicing), is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice. A final name for Sukkot is Chag HaAsif, (Festival of the Ingathering), representing a time to give thanks for the bounty of the earth during the fall harvest.
Immediately following Sukkot, we celebrate Simchat Torah, a fun-filled day during which we celebrate the completion of the annual reading of the Torah and affirm Torah as one of the pillars on which we build our lives. As part of the celebration, the Torah scrolls are taken from the ark and carried or danced around the synagogue seven times. During the Torah service, the concluding section of the fifth book of the Torah, D’varim (Deuteronomy), is read, and immediately following, the opening section of Genesis, or B'reishit as it is called in Hebrew, is read. This practice represents the cyclical nature of the relationship between the Jewish people and the reading of the Torah.
This year at TBE, we will begin our festive celebration on Sunday evening with a Simchat Torah service that includes recognition of our Consecrants. The evening continues with music by a Klezmer band, dancing, singing and unrolling of the entire Torah scroll. Adults and children will have the opportunity to dance with the Torah and hold a piece of the scroll as the Torah circles the room. The evening wraps up with a special dessert oneg. We welcome our entire community to join us in celebration as we conclude the High Holy Day season with joy!
We conclude Simchat Torah the following day at 6:00 pm with Yizkor (a special memorial service for those who have lost a loved one).
Together, we celebrate dedication, courage, freedom, blessings and the holy community that gathers throughout the year in our Makom. Nisim gadolim korim po - great miracles are happening here. May we take the time out of our busy schedules to appreciate the daily miracles in our lives, and cherish the time we spend together. Retell the stories. Sing the songs. Share the light. Spin a dreidel.
The "New Year of the Trees" is Jewish Arbor Day. The holiday is observed on the fifteenth (tu) of Shevat. Scholars believe that Tu B'Shevat was originally an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.C.E. this holiday was a way for Jews to symbolically bind themselves to their former homeland by eating foods that could be found in Israel. In the seventeenth century Kabbalists created a ritual for Tu B'Shevat similar to the Passover seder. Today, Tu B'Shevat has also become a tree planting festival in Israel, in which both Israelis and Jews around the world plant trees in honor or in memory of a loved one or friend.
March 20-21, 2019
Purim, or the Feast of Lots, is a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period (539-330 BCE). The story of Purim is recounted in the Book of Esther, whose eponymous heroine plays the leading role in saving her people. The holiday is traditionally celebrated with wild abandon and with the giving of gifts to friends and the poor. Learn more about Purim at TBE >
April 19-26, 2019
Passover is a time of renewal and rejoicing with family and friends What better place to celebrate than our Makom? Join the TBE community in celebration, song and learning as we gather and deepen the connections we have in our kehilah kedoshah (holy community) at TBE. Learn more about Passover at TBE >
May 1-2, 2019
Tuesday, April 23 at 7:00 pm
Etched in Glass Screening & Discussion with filmmaker, Roger Lyons
TBE, in collaboration with Boston Jewish Film, is honored to present the incredible film Etched in Glass: The Legacy of Steve Ross, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Roger Lyons.
Etched in Glass is the real-life story of a boy who endured 10 concentration camps as a Polish child. He suffered through the worst things mankind could imagine, and was liberated at Dachau by a US soldier who showed the boy kindness after five years of horror, which spurred his resilience. After emigrating to America as a teen, Mr. Ross dedicated his life to helping at-risk youth. His human legacy is the young people he helped over 40 years of relaying lessons of hope, determination and tolerance to youths. His physical legacy is the iconic New England Holocaust Memorial on the historic Freedom Trail in Boston.
Come join us for a compelling and heart warming evening. Dessert to follow film screening and discussion. All are welcome free of charge. Prior registration is not required. This evening is appropriate for youth (grades 6-12) and adults.
May 1, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration
It has been 74 years since the conclusion of WWII. With each passing year, as the number of Survivors diminishes, and as anti-semitism continues to be a part of our people's narrative, it is so crucial for us to honor Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day. Join us to commemorate this sacred day in liturgy, song, and the sharing of stories. Our 7th graders will share their works of art, our clergy will share reflections, and our cantors and choir will touch our souls with heartrending songs of the Holocaust. We will also learn from our community member, Saul Natansohn, as he shares his mother's story, a survivor who passed away last year.
May 7-9, 2019
Israeli Memorial Day, the national day of public mourning, memorializes those who gave their lives in defense of the State of Israel. The Israeli Knesset established the day before Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) as a day to remember and honor soldiers who lost their lives fighting in the War of Independence and in other subsequent battles. It is a solemn day during which all places of entertainment are closed and two-minute sirens are sounded throughout all of Israel, one in the evening to mark the beginning of the holiday and one in the morning, prior to the nation’s public memorial ceremony.
May 7-9, 2019
Israel’s Independence Day is celebrated on the fifth day of the month of Iyar, which is the Hebrew date of the formal establishment of the State of Israel, when members of the “provisional government” read and signed a Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv. The original date corresponded to May 14, 1948.
June 8-9, 2019
Shavuot commemorates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
Join as we observe the holiday of Tisha b'Av – a day of mourning for all the calamities that have befallen the Jewish people.