Shavuot occurs on the sixth day of the Hebrew month of Sivan. Shavuot commemorates the anniversary of the day God gave the Torah to the entire Israelite nation assembled at Mount Sinai. The holiday is one of the Shalosh Regalim, the three Biblical pilgrimage festivals. It marks the conclusion of the Counting of the Omer.
For families, there are several ways to experience Shavuot at home and in the community: celebrating flowers, focusing on learning and eating delicious dairy foods!
Be sure to check out our [email protected] about Shavuot!
Flowers, Flowers Everywhere
On Shavuot, there's a tradition of decorating the insides of the synagogue with fresh, beautiful flowers. There are so many wonderful ways to bring this tradition right to your home--go out and pick wildflowers with your kids and let them fill up a vase or check out our Shavuot pinterest board for fun ideas for making pretty flowers out of art supplies you've got right at your home!
Download and print out our Shavuot flower craft. Instructions: Use scissors to make a slit at the top of the vase. Cut out each individual flower and insert them into the slit. Attach the flowers to the vase sheet using tape on the back of the sheet.
Because Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah, there are many customs connected to Shavuot and learning. In some communities, people stay up all night to study together. You can read PJ Library books about Shavuot with your jkids, talk together about the Ten Commandments or check out the G-dcast video below featuring a catchy tune to help you remember all ten! Another idea is to take your kids on a special Shavuot camping trip to reenact the Israelites camping at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
There are lots of theories about the connection between Shavuot and eating dairy foods--most likely that this was a time of harvesting goat cheeses and other products in ancient Israel. But whatever the reasons may be, we appreciate any holiday that encourages eating cheesecake, blintzes and ice cream! Check out our recipe page for some delicious dairy recipes to try with your jkids.
Video Learning for jkids
For younger jkids:
For older jkids:
More Learning for Parents:
Click here to read Rabbi David Ackerman's article about Shavuot: "The Best Kept Secret."
Click here to read Rabbi Marc Margolies article: "Hearing God's Voice."