At the Melville Jewish Center, we celebrate holidays and festivals throughout the year, each with its own unique customs and traditions. These special occasions provide an opportunity for our community to come together in celebration and reflection.
One of the most significant holidays on the Jewish calendar is Passover, which commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Our synagogue hosts a variety of Passover events and services including a Yizkor service. Before the holiday begins, we celebrate it with “Matzah and Macaroons,” where we give out chocolate covered Matzah and delicious homemade macaroons to all of our families.
During Hanukkah we celebrate the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days in the second Temple. We enjoy celebrations for all ages including a Community Menorah Lighting with hot chocolate, jelly donuts, songs and games, a Hanukkah Happening for the kids, and a Vodka & Latke night out for the adults.
Purim is widely celebrated in the Jewish community and here at the Melville JC. It commemorates when the Jewish people were saved from Haman – the wicked advisor to the Persian king. Our synagogue hosts a very lively Purim carnival, complete with costumes, games, and traditional Purim foods like hamantashen! We also have an incredible Shalah Manot program, run by our Sisterhood, where every member can send baskets to one another, filled with dozens of treats and goodies! And last but not least, we have two Purim Shpiels – one performed by Sisterhood and another by our Religious School students. Join the fun!
We also observe the holiday of Sukkot, which commemorates the Jewish people’s journey through the wilderness after leaving Egypt. During Sukkot, we build and decorate a sukkah, a temporary structure that represents the makeshift dwellings used by the Israelites during their travels. Our Early Childhood students decorate the Sukkah, our Religious School students enjoy Pizza in the Hut, and our Men’s Club has a wonderful evening at Scotch and Steak in the Sukkah!
Simhat Torah is a joyous Jewish holiday which marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of Torah readings and the beginning of a new one. On this festive day, congregants come together to express our deep appreciation for the Torah and its teachings. During the lively and spirited ceremony, the Torah scrolls are paraded around the synagogue in a procession called “Hakafot,” symbolizing the unending cycle of Jewish learning and reenacting the Revelation at Mount Sinai. Come sing, dance, and celebrate with us!
Shavuot is a two-day holiday that commemorates the date when G‑d gave the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai over 3,000 years ago. It is another time we get to hear the Ten Commandments read aloud and customary to enjoy a dairy meal.
Throughout the year, our synagogue hosts a variety of other celebrations and festivals, including Tu B’Shvat (the New Year for Trees), Lag Ba’Omer (a day of joy and celebration), and Tisha B’Av (a day of mourning and reflection).
Whether you’re a long-time member of our community or a first-time visitor, we invite you to join us for our holiday and festival celebrations and experience the richness of Jewish tradition and culture.