In Utah, our community regularly comes together to celebrate the rich traditions and customs of our Jewish heritage. Each of the Jewish holidays carries its own customs and traditions regarding the celebration of the event, and there is something to fit the different observances of any Jew wanting to celebrate a holiday in our community.
Traditions include eating apples dipped in honey and blowing the shofar (ram’s horn). Most Jews attend synagogue on these two days and the preceding evening.
Considered by Jews to be the holiest and most solemn day of the year. Fasting begins at sundown and ends after nightfall the following day. Most Jews attend synagogue on this day and the preceding evening.
A seven-day festival. Celebrated by the building of a sukkah, or temporary dwelling, outdoors. Work is traditionally prohibited on the first and second days.
Concludes and begins anew the annual reading cycle of the Torah, the Five Books of Moses that make up the Jewish Bible. Immediately follows Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret.
An eight-day festival marked by the lighting of candles—one on the first night, two on the second, and so on—using a special candle holder called a menorah or chanukiah. Traditions include a game involving spinning dreidels (tops), eating potato latkes (pancakes), and giving gifts.
Originally celebrated as an agricultural festival marking the emergence of spring, today celebrations focus on environmental awareness. Trees are often planted in honor or memory of loved ones.
Commemorates the events in the Book of Esther. One of the most joyous Jewish holidays. Traditions include masquerading in costumes, eating hamentaschen, and giving care packages to those in need.
Commemorates the liberation of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt. A feast called a seder is held on the first two nights and sometimes on the final two nights of the eight-day holiday. No food that is leavened (e.g., bread, cake) or contains wheat is eaten. Matzah (unleavened bread) is often consumed instead.
Yom Ha’Shoah is a Jewish observance commemorating the lives and heroism of the six million Jewish people and five million others who perished in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945.
Yom Hazikaron is Israel’s Official Memorial Day for her fallen soldiers and victims of terrorism. Falling either in late April or early May every year, Yom Hazikaron is an especially solemn time and marked by ceremonies and silences across the country.
According to Rabbinic tradition, the Ten Commandments were given to the Jewish people at Mt. Sinai on this day. It is traditional to eat meals containing dairy.