Disability Connection



Milton Grishman, Congregation Beth Israel


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Jewish American religious culture:  The first holiday of the Jewish year is the celebration of the new year, Rosh Hashanah, which occurs sometime in September or October. It is a ten-day period in which Jews reflect on their lives during the previous year. Three basic themes are associated with this holiday: the anniversary of the creation of the world; the day of judgment; and the renewal of the covenant between God and Israel. Yom Kippur, the “Day of Atonement,” occurs at the end of Rosh Hashanah. For 25 hours observant Jews fast while seeking forgiveness from God and from those against whom they have sinned.

In the winter, usually in December, Jews celebrate the festival of Hanukkah. This is a joyous eight-day period also known as the Festival of Lights and involves lighting a candle for each night of the festival, one on the first night, two on the second, and so forth. Over time, Hanukkah has become a time of family celebration with games and presents for children.