Jewish Holidays

Learn everything you need to know about the major Jewish holidays.

What is Shabbat?

What is Shabbat? Shabbat (the Jewish Shabbath) is a weekly 25-hour observance that begins just before sundown each Friday and ends at nightfall on Saturday. Shabbat is a dedicated time each week to stop working and focus more on the pleasures of life.

It’s definitely not easy, especially in a time when we are always working from running errands to checking emails, it seems to never stop. Shabbat is a time to recharge. Watch this video to learn more about why and how Jews observe Shabbat.

What is Rosh Chodesh?

Rosh Chodesh is a minor Jewish holiday that happens on the first day of every month and literally translates to “head of the month”. Watch our explainer video to learn the significance of this monthly holiday.

This holiday has long been considered a special holiday for women. Some say that this is because women of Israel did not offer their jewelry for the creation of the Golden Galf so they were given Rosh Chodesh, a day when they could abstain from work. Others connect the lunar cycle of the holiday to a woman’s menstrual cycle. For thousands of years, Rosh Chodesh has been a holiday where women gather together for a variety of activities, from reciting prayers, to sharing a meal, discussing Jewish ethics and working for social change.

What is Rosh Hashanah?

A basic primer on what Rosh Hashanah is, for everyone. This video explains what the holiday is about, how different communities celebrate it, what the special foods and traditions are, and the spiritual connection. A great intro for Jews and non-Jews alike – share with your curious coworker or family member.

Written by Rabbi Mark Melamut of Congregation B’nai Emunah in San Francisco, and shared by the irrepressible Jason Mesches, actor, musician and nice Jewish boy.

Shana tova! Happy New Year! Have a beautiful, inspiring Rosh Hashana!

What is Yom Kippur? An introduction

The Day of Atonement is the most holy day of the Jewish year and it is full of spiritual opportunity if you open yourself up to its customs, prayers and melodies. This short video is a basic primer on what Yom Kippur is, for everyone. It explains what the holiday is about, where it comes from, what to expect at a service and how to break the fast! A great intro for Jews and non-Jews alike – share with your curious coworker or family member.

The LEGO® Sukkot Movie

By Evan Wolkenstein

It’s a Lego® Sukkot stop motion animation and we couldn’t be more geeked out about it! Learn the basics of the Jewish holiday called Sukkot, including festival huts, lulavs, etrogs, foods, prayers and the spiritual meaning of all the unique rituals. This stop motion animation is a great intro to the holiday for Jews and non Jews alike – make it part of your holiday emails and party invitations, or show it to your kids to get them inspired about building their own sukkahs this year!

This piece was written and narrated by Evan Wolkenstein, a beloved BimBam contributor and teacher of Tanach. For more Sukkot learning, check out:

  • Sukkot: Back to Basics – a music video based on the book of Kohelet, or Ecclesiastes, which is customarily read during the holiday of Sukkot
  • How to Build a Sukkah – a beatbox How To video made in collaboration with Moishe House


Yes! We have a teachers’ guide available for this video. It’s a rich, creative set of LEGO® building activities that have media production components baked in as well. While you don’t need technology to do these activities, you do need LEGO bricks – enough for your students to build some Sukkot themed objects together. If your school doesn’t have these already in storage somewhere, you will want to hit some thrift shops, or, you’ll need to be creative about working with other building materials like paint and popsicle sticks, beads, or even vegetables.

This guide will help you prepare either a one hour special session, or three hour session (or series of 1 hour sessions) for a group of students. We recommend working with children in 3rd grade and up on these activities, but your mileage will vary.

Another great way to use this video is in your family’s celebration – check out this Sukkot @Home Parent Guide from Jewish LearningWorks in San Francisco. Check it out here.

Do note that LEGO®is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.

LEGO Sukkot Teachers’ Guide

What is Hanukkah Or Chanukah?

Hanukkah, Chanukah. What is it? Join BimBam staffer Jeremy Shuback for an exploration of the holiday’s history, significance and rituals.

Written by Rabbi Mark Melamut as part of a unique partnership called the Rabbis’ Writing Lab, and shot at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, it’s a new format for BimBam and we hope you’ll like, share and enjoy it this holiday season.

Chanukah sameach! Happy Festival of Lights. Happy Chanukah.

What is Tu B’shvat?

Tu B’shvat is a joyous Jewish holiday that celebrates trees and nature. It brings us back to our roots, literally. Learn how to celebrate this nature-loving holiday with naturalist and former park ranger Deborah Newbrun. What will you do to celebrate the birthday of the trees?

What is Purim?

Purim is a joyous holiday that recounts the saving of the Jewish people. The Purim story celebrates Esther’s bravery, Mordechai’s wisdom and BOOOOO Haman.

Purim is a community celebration that includes the reading of the Scroll of Esther, called the Megillah. Some Jewish communities put on a Purim shpiel, or play, that usually pokes fun at community leaders or relates somehow to what’s happening in the world. Kids can enjoy fun festivities such as attending a carnival, dressing up in costumes and eating tasty hamantaschens (triangular jam-filled cookies). Purim is easily the most fun holiday in the Jewish calendar. This video talks about all of the great traditions! Learn More

The Passover Seder…What to Expect

If you’re heading to a Passover Seder, it helps to know a little bit about what to expect. This video explains the basics, from the props on the table to the songs people sing. Happy Pesach and have a great seder!


What is Yom Ha’atzmaut?” video gives viewers a taste of how Israeli Independence Day started and is celebrated around the world, from the street parties and ceremonies in Israel, to festivals all around the world.



Counting of the Omer

What is an Omer and why do we count it? Learn everything you need to know about this Jewish ritual and the minor Jewish holiday called Lag B’Omer in this video featuring Miriam Heller Stern, the National Director of the School of Education at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, and BimBam Board Member.


Shavuot is the most important Jewish Holiday most people have never heard of. From  all night study sessions to mountains of cheese, Shavuot finds incredible ways to celebrate receiving the Torah.

Shavuot Lesson Guide

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