Learn the basics about the most important Jewish holiday that you’ve never heard of.
Shavuot (weeks in Hebrew) is the feast of weeks and is celebrated for seven weeks after Passover. Although the holiday began as one of the three harvest festivals (Sukkot and Passover), Shavuot is often associated with the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is also customary to stay up all night studying Jewish text (commonly the Book of Ruth) and “wait for the Torah” while eating lots and lots of dairy (if you’re from Ashkenazi descent) or meat (if you’re from Sephardi descent). Explore our resources below to learn more about the most important Jewish holiday that most people have never heard of.
Learn the Ten Commandments in a rocking, fun kids’ sing-along featuring Naomi Less!
BimBam brings the Decalogue or the 10 Commandments to life for Shavuot with this catchy music video! The music is catchy, but that is not all, it is designed to teach kids about each of the Ten Commandments while learning about the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. It also covers the amusing exploits of some villagers and their mischievous ways.
Naomi Less, hailed by PresenTense Magazine as the “Ultimate Jewish Chick Rocker” breaks gender stereotypes with her faith-driven, edgy, pop-rock riffs, soaring melodies and uplifting messages. Naomi combines her passion for education, Judaism and music to motivate audiences worldwide to work for change in the world. In 2008, Naomi founded Jewish Chicks Rock, encouraging young girls to pick up instruments and express themselves. Her strong character and unique voice amplify a powerful message to young women: be who you are, no apologies. Naomi gives her all in this animated piece. We hope that you watch, share it with your friends and sing-along.
The Book of Ruth tells of Ruth the Moabite choosing to make the Israelites her people. Ruth is well-loved for her loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi and is often called Judaism’s most famous convert, or Jew by choice.
Singer-songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins took the story and turned it into a delicate song, beginning the chorus with Ruth’s words to Naomi plucked straight from the Hebrew Bible: “And where you go I’ll go / where you live will be my home.” (וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי, לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ: כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ, וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין–עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי, וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי)Read More
The Book of Ruth (in Hebrew מגילת רות, meaning the Scroll of Ruth) is within the Ketuvim (in Hebrew כְּתוּבִים meaning “writings”). It is named after its central figure, Ruth the Moabitess and traditionally read by Jews on the holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai as well as marking the beginning of the harvest season…which is depicted in our film centered around fields and threshing rooms.
Jewish interpretation is often very specific. There are a myriad of Jewish subcultures and people, and the interpretations in this video explores the array of thoughts that our diverse set of storytellers and contributors have on Jewish text.
This film was made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.
Snip away at shiny origami paper to make beautiful paper “roses” to hang up for Shavuot or any time of year! Follow this easy tutorial led by Berkeley artist Claire Sherman! This project is great for kids ages 6 and up and may require adult supervision due to the use of scissors.
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