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September 19 & 24

Yom Kippur & Sukkot (movable dates)

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, or the "Day of Atonement," is considered the most important holiday of the Jewish year and is typically more somber than Rosh Hashanah. This year it will begin at sunset on Sept. 18 and end at sunset on Sept. 19. During this time, it is Jewish custom to refrain from work, observe fasting and attend synagogue services. This holiday is a time to "afflict the soul" and atone for the sins committed in the past year by reflecting and making amends.

After a full day of fasting, praying and repenting, it is tradition to break fast with a feast of sorts. The end of Yom Kippur is also signaled by the sounding of a shofar.



Five days after Yom Kippur is Sukkot (starting Sept. 23 this year), an upbeat weeklong celebration. The word Sukkot means "booths" and refers to the 40-year period when the children of Israel wandered the desert and lived in temporary shelters.

Today, many Jews build their own sukkah (a hut-like structure) in their yards as they celebrate with family and friends, enjoying life's simple pleasures and putting luxury into perspective. Other traditions include binding together the Four Kinds, lighting candles and praying.







On a wing and a prayer: Jews prepare Yom Kippur

  • It is believed that all sins accumulated during the past year transfer into the chicken...

  • ...which is then slaughtered. 

  • An utra-Orthodox Jew twirls a live chicken above his son's head as he recites a prayer during the Kaparot ritual in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood

  • The meat of the slaughtered chicken is given to the poor

  • At the end of Yom Kippur, you are considered to be absolved by God

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Yom Kippur is a fasting holiday

A Break-the-Fast Feast with bagel & toppings, egg dishes, kugel, blintzes, and sweet treats.





As Sukkot is a harvest festival, Sukkot menus typically include dishes with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stuffed vegetables are often served for this Jewish holiday. Some say the stuffed foods, like small cornucopias, represent a bountiful harvest.

Sukkot Dinner Meal

  • Gefilte Fish -- This classic recipe for homemade gefilte fish is an Ashkenazi menu fixture not just for Sukkot, but for Shabbat and other holidays. 

  • Chicken Matzo Ball Soup -- Since Sukkot is celebrated in the fall, there's often a nip in the air. Soups like this one are the perfect way to keep guests comfortable while dining al fresco in the sukkah. 

  • Meat Stuffed Peppers -- Stuffed foods are a traditional addition to Sukkot menus, so these peppers are a natural fit for the menu. You can use ground beef or turkey according to your preference. If you'll be hosting vegetarian guests, consider replacing the meat with a ground beef substitute. 

  • Apple Glazed BBQ Chicken -- Apples are not just a seasonal fall favorite, they're also an auspicious symbol for a sweet new year in Ashkenazic Jewish tradition. Chavi Feldman of Chashmonaim, Israel contributed this Apple Glazed BBQ Chicken recipe for the autumn Rosh Hashanah holiday, but it's an ideal dish for Sukkot entertaining. 

  • Coconut Curry Potato Gratin -- Coconut milk and curry lend creaminess and warmth to this unusual, dairy-free take on potato gratin. 

  • Fruit Compote -- This simple dessert features stewed nectarines, peaches, and plums, and makes a nice alternative (or complement) to heavier sweets. 

  • Classic Kosher Apple Cake -- This company-worthy cake, with its layers of cinnamon-laced apples, is a classic example of the dessert dubbed Jewish Apple Cake.

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