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The congregation gathers for worship on holidays and special times of the Jewish year, including Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Purim, Passover, Shavuot, and Yizkor. Music is a vital part of all our religious services, and whether singing together or responding to the choir, members experience worship in a joyful, spiritual way.

Service times for the different festivals vary. Please check the Temple calendar for times of both evening and morning festival services.


Sukkot is the "Festival of Booths," a harvest festival. It occurs on the 15th day of Tishrei (late September to late October). The original idea was to live in a booth (sukkah, plural sukkot) in the fields during the harvest. Now people build and decorate a sukkah in their yard. At Temple Isaiah, we build the sukkah in front of the Temple. Our children decorate it and our congregation celebrates in it.

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah is the "rewinding" of the Torah. It occurs a week after Sukkot. It's the day Jews finish the annual reading of the Torah and go back to the beginning. Since the Torah is written on a scroll, rather than in a book with pages, it must be rewound. At Temple Isaiah, children get to see the whole Torah unrolled. It's nearly the length of the sanctuary! 


Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, celebrates a miracle in the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. It starts on the 25th day of Kislev (late November to late December). Though the holiday is traditionally celebrated at home, there are also celebrations at the Temple, such as Chanukah family service.


This early spring holiday occurs on the 14th of Adar and celebrates the events described in the Book of Esther. Queen Esther saved the Jews of Persia from a plot to destroy them by the king's minister, Haman. Children love to drown out the evil Haman's name with their groggers and to eat hamantaschen, cookies shaped like his hat. Temple Isaiah celebrates the holiday with a LEFTY-sponsored carnival and a Purim spiel (comedy play).


Passover starts on the 15th of Nisan (in March or April). It celebrates God's redemption of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt as described in the book of Exodus. Occurring in the spring, it also celebrates the rebirth of life in that season. The seder (the ceremony and dinner) is traditionally celebrated in the home; Temple Isaiah has a morning service.


Shavuot is the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to Moses, occurring on the 6th and 7th days of Sivan. It is the birthday of the covenant between God and the Jewish people and it highlights the importance of Torah in Jewish life. Temple Isaiah has an evening and a morning service. The service of Confirmation for our 10th graders is part of the evening service.


Yizkor is a mourning service for those who have lost a member of their immediate family. It occurs four times a year: on Yom Kippur, the last days of Pesach and Sukkot, and on Shavuot.

Mon, June 5 2023 16 Sivan 5783