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Shavuot (literally “Weeks”) marks the conclusion of the seven week period of counting that begins on the second night of Passover. The two-day holiday is also called Z'man Matan Torateinu, the Season When Our Torah Was Given, as it marks the time when Moses received the commandments at Sinai. Shavuot is also an agricultural holiday, marking the beginning of the summer season. It is traditional on the first night of Shavuot to stay up all night studying Torah, almost as a reenactment of the preparations at Sinai. Liturgical additions include the reading of the Book of Ruth on the recitation of Yizkor memorial prayers on the second day of the festival.

At B’nai Israel, our annual Tikkun Leyl Shavuot (Evening of Study) is often accompanied by a festival dinner with traditional dairy foods. Members of the congregation lead study sessions on various topics and the evening is dedicated to the memories of Rabbi Henry and Yetta Segal. On Shavuot, our congregation also celebrates Confirmation, which recognizes the commitment of our tenth-graders to ongoing Jewish study in the Talmud Torah Upper School.

Click here to download a special Holiday Enhancement Packet: "From Our House to Yours: Celebrating Shavuot at Home."

Shavuot services & programs

Sunday, May 16

Light candles at 7:57 PM
8:00 PM Festival Evening Service
For service access, click here. To attend this service in person, please email Allison Karasik.

Tikkun Leyl Shavuot
Our Exodus, Our Sinai: Grief, Resilience, and Transformation
Sunday, May 16
8:30–11:00 PM
The pandemic interrupted our lives and challenged us all in many ways. All experienced some form of loss: livelihood, loved ones, a sense of normalcy. As the months of the pandemic dragged on, we demonstrated resilience. As we near the end of this ordeal, we reflect back on both the challenges, as well as the small victories. We look to a future in which our world will be transformed. Join us for a night of reflection on these themes, with small group conversations. Rabbis Safra and Berkowitz will offer a brief text-based framing for these themes, followed by facilitated small group conversations in which we will share our own reflections. You may participate in-person or virtually. Click here to register.

Monday, May 17

9:00 AM Festival Service and Confirmation
Honor our confirmands as we begin our celebration of Shavuot, the festival that marks the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. For service access, click here. To attend this service in person, please email Allison Karasik.

Mazal tov to Our Confirmands

Jason Altneu ♦ Gabrielle Barke ♦ Elizabeth Kotlove ♦ Ethan Lenkin

8:00 PM Festival Evening Service 
For service access, click here
Light candles after 8:45 PM

Tuesday, May 18

9:00 AM Festival Morning Service with Yizkor Prayers at approximately 10:40 AM 
For service access, click here. To attend this service in person, please email Allison Karasik.
The festival ends at 8:47 PM

SHAVUOT Prayer book downloads

Siddur Sim Shalom Shabbat & Festival Evening

Siddur Sim Shalom Shabbat & Festival Morning

Torah Reading for First Day of Shavuot

Torah Reading for Second Day of Shavuot


Thu, May 13 2021 2 Sivan 5781