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Jewish Holidays

How and Why We Remember

The people of a certain culture devote an entire week of each year to commemorating one of the worst parts of their history. They taste bitter things to appreciate the suffering of their ancestors. They consciously abstain from consuming bread to remind themselves what was eatenor rather, what was not eaten. They mourn the deaths of their ancient oppressors. They drink the metaphorical tears of their forefathers and foremothers. And year after year after year, they gather around tables to recount the suffering and the humiliation and the turmoil of their own people.

Seder Plate

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Seder plate for Passover.
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Seder plate for Passover.

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New Year Postcard

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Jewish New Year Postcard with airplane.
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Jewish New Year Postcard with airplane.

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Vashti, Purim, and Women's History Month

I have a vague recollection of the first time I learned about Vashti. I was sitting at circle time on a primary-colored rug in my pre-K class at Sunday school and was told, “Vashti was not nice to the King. She would not dance for the King.” And we all just nodded our heads in sympathy for King Ahashuarus. “Poor King.” We all thought, “Vashti is evil.”

Nima Adlerblum's Book Memoirs of Childhood

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Cover of Nima Adlerblum's book, published after her death. She was a writer, educator, and Zionist activist in New York and Jerusalem.

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Cover of Nima Adlerblum's book, published after her death. She was a writer, educator, and Zionist activist in New York and Jerusalem.

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Lilly Rivlin

Lilly Rivlin has used her skills as a historian and documentary filmmaker to capture Jewish history in the making.

Eliana Melmed with her Two Great-Grandmothers

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Eliana Melmed with her two great-grandmothers.

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Eliana Melmed with her two great-grandmothers.

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Shirley Cohen Steinberg

Shirley Cohen Steinberg helped make the Jewish holidays fun and interactive for children with her Holiday Music Box albums, featuring “One Morning” (popularly known as the Passover “Frog Song”).

2014 Fireworks

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Goodbye, 2014!

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Goodbye, 2014!

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An Early Confirmation Certificate for the Island of St. Thomas, Dutch West Indies by Rabbi David Philipson D.D. (Page 3 of 3)

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An early confirmation certificate for the Island of St. Thomas, Dutch West Indies by Rabbi David Philipson D.D. (Page 3 of 3).

Page 1, page 2.

Courtesy of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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An early confirmation certificate for the Island of St. Thomas, Dutch West Indies by Rabbi David Philipson D.D. (Page 3 of 3).

Page 1, page 2.

Courtesy of The Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Holidays." (Viewed on May 4, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-holidays>.

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