Shavuot

From learning Torah all night long to indulging in cheesecake, the rituals and significance of Shavuot have evolved throughout Jewish history. Often celebrated as the day on which the Jewish people received the Torah on Mount Sinai, KKL-JNF brings the holiday back to its biblical and agricultural roots through activities that reaffirm Jewish peoplehood, celebrate the abundance of the Land of Israel, and emphasize the importance of water to ancient and modern Israel.

E-learning

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The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

The Jewish Educator Journal: Shavuot Resources

On this page you can find the Winter 2018 issue of the The Jewish Educator journal, full of articles, resources, activities, and lesson plans about Shavuot, created especially for Jewish educators. With

What is Shavuot? An Introductory Video for All

What is Shavuot? An Introductory Video for All

This 4-minute long animated video presents an excellent overview of the origins, significance and customs of Shavuot, dubbed “the most important Jewish Holiday most people have never heard of.” Useful for people of all

Shavuot in 60 Seconds

Shavuot in 60 Seconds

This minute long animated video presents a brief overview of the origins, significance and customs of Shavuot. Useful for people of all ages, with amusing animations and a colloquial narrator, this video is provided by

The Jewish Trivia Quiz: Shavuot

The Jewish Trivia Quiz: Shavuot

This link will take you to a Jewish Trivia game website, where you can select “Shavuot” from the drop down menu (Topic), and enjoy an interactive quiz that will ask

A Shavuot Website for Children

A Shavuot Website for Children

This link will take you to “a Shavuot wonderland for kids,” an entire website dedicated to teaching children about the holiday in a fun and interactive way. With holiday guides, videos,

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Lesson Plan for High School Students

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Lesson Plan for High School Students

This link opens up a detailed hour long lesson plan where students explore a theory regarding the division of the Ten Commandments onto two tablets. Created by Moshe Abelesz for high

Sinai Poetry: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Sinai Poetry: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

This 9-page long PDF document provides a collection of poetry reflecting the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sainai from both Jewish and non-Jewish sources. These poems were compiled to be

Shavuot in Israel: A Celebration of Torah or First Fruits?

Shavuot in Israel: A Celebration of Torah or First Fruits?

In this article, Dr. Hizky Shoham explores the multiple identities of the holiday of Shavuot, which began as an agricultural festival, was transformed into the “holiday of the giving of

Taking Tikkun Leil into the Modern World

Taking Tikkun Leil into the Modern World

In this article from the South African Jewish Report, Adina Roth describes how the ancient Kabbalistic practice of learning Torah all night long on Shavuot has developed to include different types

A Detailed Overview of Shavuot

A Detailed Overview of Shavuot

This thorough article from Wikipedia provides a detailed and well-sourced overview of the Biblical origins, ancient and modern customs, and agricultural and scriptural significance of Shavuot. The article mentions many different practices observed

The Omer & Shavuot: Self-Betterment and a Divine Relationship

The Omer & Shavuot: Self-Betterment and a Divine Relationship

In this short video, Rabbi Shira Stutman shares a profound explanation of Shavuot and the 49 day period of the Omer between Passover and Shavuot, with an emphasis on self-betterment and

Chabad on Shavuot

Chabad on Shavuot

This introductory article from Chabad.org explains the history, customs and deep spiritual significance of Shavuot. With many internal links to relevant videos, how-to guides, and articles, this is a great resource for anyone

Shavuot 101

Shavuot 101

This introductory article briefly explains the history, customs and significance of Shavuot, a lesser known Jewish holiday that commemorates the spring harvest and the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. It is

Why do Jews Eat Cheesecake on Shavuot?

Why do Jews Eat Cheesecake on Shavuot?

This minute-long video from the My Jewish LearningYouTube Channel offers two explanations for the popular Ashkenazi custom to eat dairy food on the holiday of Shavuot.

Shavuot: The Day that Shook the World

Shavuot: The Day that Shook the World

This minute-and-a-half long video, creatively produced to resemble a movie trailer, presents the eternal influence of the revelation of the Torah in the world, the historical event commemorated on the holiday

How to Organize a Feminist/Women’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

How to Organize a Feminist/Women’s Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Noting that women are learning more Torah than ever before in Jewish history, this article from Ritualwell encourages women to further reclaim their relationship with Torah by organizing a feminist Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Peoplehood: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Peoplehood: A Resource for Tikkun Leil Shavuot

This 4-page PDF document provides six sources which address the theme of ‘Peoplehood’ intended for learning with a partner (chevruta) or group as part of the Tikkun Leil Shavuot tradition

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Music

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The Song of Bread: A Zionist Yiddish Song for Shavuot

The Song of Bread: A Zionist Yiddish Song for Shavuot

This video presents The Song of Bread, a Yiddish folk song written by poet and composer Mark Warshawsky about the goodness of the land of Israel, dedicated to the Eastern

Our Baskets Are On Our Shoulders: A Hebrew Children’s Song for Shavuot

Our Baskets Are On Our Shoulders: A Hebrew Children’s Song for Shavuot

This upbeat animated video presents a popular Israeli children’s song abut Shavuot. The lyrics describe people coming from all over the land of Israel to bring “bikurim” – the offering

Stay Up All Night: A Shavuot Parody

Stay Up All Night: A Shavuot Parody

This amusing video presents a song about Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the custom of learning Torah all night long on Shavuot. From the Rebbetzin Tap “Jewish Holiday Celebration” DVD, this song contains

We’ll Study All Night Long: A Shavuot Parody

We’ll Study All Night Long: A Shavuot Parody

This amusing video presents a song about Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the custom of learning Torah all night long on Shavuot. The lyrics, written to the tune of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me

Akdamut Chanted with English Translation

Akdamut Chanted with English Translation

This video presents a chanting of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot with a simultaneous onscreen English translation of the

Short English Adaptation of Akdamut

Short English Adaptation of Akdamut

This video presents a short, simple, chanted, English version of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. It is not a direct

An Ancient Sephardic Melody for Akdamut

An Ancient Sephardic Melody for Akdamut

This video presents an ancient Sephardic melody for Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in

Alicia Jo Rabins: An Indie-Folk Rendition of Ruth’s Journey

Alicia Jo Rabins: An Indie-Folk Rendition of Ruth’s Journey

This animated music video presents the biblical story of Ruth, retold by singer-songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins through an original indie-folk song. The Book of Ruth is traditionally read on Shavuot, which celebrates

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Song for Kids

The Ten Commandments: A Shavuot Song for Kids

This upbeat, animated music video presents the Ten Commandments from the Torah in an amusing, kid-friendly way, with modernized lyrics, amusing cartoons, and a catchy tune. There is a strong

A Children’s Song for Shavuot

A Children’s Song for Shavuot

This upbeat, catchy song celebrates the excitement of the Jewish festival of Shavuot, which commemorates the giving of the Torah. Sung in Hebrew with an on-screen English translation of the lyrics, the

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

This 10 minute long video presents a Moroccan chanting of Azharot (lit. exhortations), didactic liturgical poems enumerating the 613 commandments traditionally chanted by Sephardic Jews on Shavuot. There have been numerous

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

This video presents a series of traditional Moroccan liturgical poems for Shavuot. 

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

This video presents the singing of Yetziv Pitgam, an Aramaic liturgical poem recited immediately following the chanting of the first verse of the Haftara on the second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora. It

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

This video presents an ancient melody for Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in almost

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Anecdotes

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Pilgrimage: A Resource for Tikun Leil Shavuot from Limmud

Pilgrimage: A Resource for Tikun Leil Shavuot from Limmud

Created by the Limmud Chavruta Program for Shavuot, this 4-page long document contains sources that explore the concept of pilgrimage in Judaism, including traditional Jewish texts, quotes from modern Israeli poets and

A Blessing for Kindness on Shavuot

A Blessing for Kindness on Shavuot

This poetic prayer by Devon Spier explores the themes of chessed (kindness), social justice, and communal responsibility through agricultural imagery. These concepts are often associated with Shavuot, due to their prevalence in

Revealing Torah, Revealing Me: A Prayer for Shavuot

Revealing Torah, Revealing Me: A Prayer for Shavuot

This thought provoking and poetic prayer by Devon Spier explores the emotions of the moment before the revelation at Mount Sinai, and asks God to bless one with a personal revelation

Festival of the First Fruits: A Shavuot Poem

Festival of the First Fruits: A Shavuot Poem

This descriptive poem in Hebrew and English by Kaila Shabat paints a lovely picture of the festive Shavuot celebrations in the moshavim and kibbutzim of Israel. Often secular and deeply connected to

Kavannot (Intentions) for Shavuot

Kavannot (Intentions) for Shavuot

In this thought provoking piece, Rabbi Rachel Barenblat lays out her personal intentions for Shavuot in the form of a prayer to God for heightened awareness and connection through engagement with the Torah. Rabbi

Dairy Recipes for Shavuot

Dairy Recipes for Shavuot

In celebration of the Ashkenazi tradition of eating dairy foods on Shavuot, My Jewish Learning provides lots of different recipes, often fresh twists on traditional foods, such as cheesy challah, Mozzarella and Tomato

Celebrate Shavuot with Shalom Sesame

Celebrate Shavuot with Shalom Sesame

This video from Shalom Sesame tells the story of Moses receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. This link from ReformJudaism.org offers discussion topics, activities and two more videos from “Shalom Sesame” all created

Shavuot Resource Booklet for Youth Leaders

Shavuot Resource Booklet for Youth Leaders

This link will open up a 28 page long PDF file full of resources designed to teach youth about Shavuot in a fun and interactive way. With games, activities, discussion questions, stories, trivia

Reenactment of the Biblical Shavuot First-Fruits & Twin Loaves Offerings

Reenactment of the Biblical Shavuot First-Fruits & Twin Loaves Offerings

This 4-minute long video presents a reenactment of the first-fruit and twin loaves offerings, as they were performed in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem on the festival of Shavuot. Due to the

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

This post provides ideas for how to make Shavuot meaningful and fun for your community and family. Focusing on the themes of social justice and communal responsibility in the Torah

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Rituals & Ceremonies

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Counting the Omer

Counting the Omer

The Counting of the Omer is the commandment to count the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. This video introduces the agricultural roots, spiritual significance, and special customs of this

Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor

Tkhine of the Matriarchs for Yizkor

This “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer in Yiddish with an English translation that is meant to be recited following the Yizkor Memorial service. The prayer beseeches God for mercy, blessing

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer

Yizkor: The Memorial Prayer

This informative article from Chabad.org provides the Hebrew, English and transliterated text for the Yizkor memorial prayer recited following the Torah reading in the synagogue on Passover, Shavuot, Shemini Atzeret

A “Tkhine” for Lighting Candles on Shavuot

A “Tkhine” for Lighting Candles on Shavuot

This “tkhine” (supplication) is a para-liturgical prayer in Hebrew and Yiddish with an English translation that is meant to be recited by a woman after lighting candles to welcome the holiday

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot & Prayers

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot & Prayers

This link opens up a 186 page long PDF file containing sections of learning and prayer for the Tikkun Leil Shavuot in Hebrew, English and transliterated English. In keeping with the custom of

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot with Prayers & Meditations

Kabbalistic Tikkun Leil Shavuot with Prayers & Meditations

This link opens up a 75 page long PDF file containing sections of learning, prayer and meditation for the Tikkun Leil Shavuot in Hebrew, English and transliterated English. In keeping with the custom

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

Chanting of Moroccan Azharot

This 10 minute long video presents a Moroccan chanting of Azharot (lit. exhortations), didactic liturgical poems enumerating the 613 commandments traditionally chanted by Sephardic Jews on Shavuot. There have been numerous

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

Moroccan Piyutim for Shavuot

This video presents a series of traditional Moroccan liturgical poems for Shavuot. 

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

Yetziv Pitgam: A Piyut for Shavuot

This video presents the singing of Yetziv Pitgam, an Aramaic liturgical poem recited immediately following the chanting of the first verse of the Haftara on the second day of Shavuot in the Diaspora. It

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

An Ancient Melody for Akdamut

This video presents an ancient melody for Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot. The liturgical poem is recited responsively in almost

Reform Shavuot Youth Synagogue Service

Reform Shavuot Youth Synagogue Service

This 9-page long PDF document presents the Shavuot Youth Service at the Edgware and District Reform Synagogue (now the Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue) in the UK. Complete with short teachings, poems,

The Book of Ruth (Text & Audio)

The Book of Ruth (Text & Audio)

This post provides the Hebrew and English text for the entire Book of Ruth, as well as audio recordings from the Virtual Cantor of this text being read in Hebrew.

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

This link opens up a 44 page PDF document full of articles, resources, activities, and programs for Shavuot and the Omer (the 7 week-long period between Passover and Shavuot) that

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Videos & Study Guides from the Reform Movement

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Videos & Study Guides from the Reform Movement

This link provides a collection of short videos of Torah lectures with guiding questions for discussion and reflection that can be used for independent or communal Torah study on Shavuot

Akdamut: Text & Commentary on a Liturgical Poem for Shavuot

Akdamut: Text & Commentary on a Liturgical Poem for Shavuot

This 8-page long PDF document provides the Aramaic text and English translation of Akdamut, the lengthy Aramaic poem recited during the Torah reading in synagogue on the morning of Shavuot.

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Traditional Practices

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Procedure for Holiday Candle-Lighting

Procedure for Holiday Candle-Lighting

This informative post from Chabad.org provides the transliterated and translated English text for the blessings upon lighting the candles at the onset of the festivals of Shavuot, Passover and Sukkot,

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

How to Make Shavuot Meaningful & Fun for Your Community

This post provides ideas for how to make Shavuot meaningful and fun for your community and family. Focusing on the themes of social justice and communal responsibility in the Torah

OU Synagogue Resources: Innovative Shavuot Programming

OU Synagogue Resources: Innovative Shavuot Programming

This link opens up an article which offers unique ideas for engaging Shavuot programs for all ages from Orthodox synagogues throughout America. Ranging from an interactive game show to a cheesecake

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

Standing Together: A Social Justice Guide to Shavuot and the Omer

This link opens up a 44 page PDF document full of articles, resources, activities, and programs for Shavuot and the Omer (the 7 week-long period between Passover and Shavuot) that

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