News & Events

5 Year Calendar of Major Jewish Holidays

To assist schools and community groups in understanding the Jewish holiday calendar, the Milwaukee Jewish Council for Community Relations distributes a 5 Year Calendar of Major Jewish Holidays annually. It lists the dates of the major Jewish holidays annually for a rolling five year period, with a brief explanation of each holiday.

The calendar is distributed annually in August to principals of Milwaukee area schools, municipalities, and other community groups. It is intended to assist them in scheduling activities such as public meetings, conferences, and school related events including exams and tests, assemblies, field trips, and graduation.

If your agency would like to be added to the mailing list for the calendar, please contact the Milwaukee Jewish Council for Community Relations at 414-390-5781.

Click on the link below to display the current 5 Year Calendar:

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To view the calendar,  you need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
If you do not have this program on your computer, click the icon for a free download

Jewish Holiday Calendar, 2006 - 2011: Major Jewish Holidays

During observance of these major holidays, work is traditionally prohibited.  As a result, Jewish individuals may be absent from work and school.  

Jewish holidays begin at sundown the evening preceding the holiday; please keep this in mind when scheduling events.


2006 - 2007
Rosh Hashana
Jewish New Year
September 23 & 24
Saturday & Sunday
starts sunset Sept. 22

Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement.  The most holy of Jewish holidays.  Devoted to prayer, fasting, and repentance.

October 2
starts sunset Oct. 1
Tabernacles.  First two days of eight day festival of the fall harvest & thanksgiving of the Jews wandering in the wilderness and living in booths (tabernacles) after exodus from Egypt.
October 7 & 8
Saturday & Sunday
starts sunset Oct. 6
Shemini Atzeret
Eighth, and final day of Sukkot.
October 14
starts sunset Oct. 13
Simchat Torah
Reading of the law (Torah) is completed and begun anew in synagogues.
October 15
starts sunset Oct. 14
Passover (Pesach)
Eight day Jewish festival marking deliverance from slavery in Egypt.  Foods with leavening are prohibited.
April 3 - 10
Tuesday - Tuesday
starts sunset April 2
Feast of Weeks.  Marks giving of the law (Torah) on Mount Sinai & spring harvest festival.
May 23 & 24
Wednesday & Thursday
starts sunset May 22

Other Jewish Holidays

The Jewish Sabbath is observed weekly on Saturdays.  Like other Jewish holidays, it begins at sunset of the prior day- in this case Friday evening - and ends at sunset on Saturday.  Since it reflects God's rest on the seventh day of the week following the events of creation, Shabbat is considered to be a day different from the work week, dedicated to prayer, reflection, and rest.

Depending on the degree of observance, abstention from regular work-day activities might include a ban on driving, taking an SAT exam or participating in an athletic tournament.

When planning weekend events, please consider that observant Jews would be unable to participate in secular events occurring between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday.

Hanukkah/ Festival of Lights
This eight-day holiday celebrates the Jewish military victory over the Syrians in 165 B.C.E. and the restoration of their religious and political freedom.  Candles are lit each evening to celebrate the miracle of the lamp in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem burning for eight days even though it only had a supply of purified oil for one day.

There are no work restriction for observant Jews.  Customs associated with the holiday often include exchanging gifts, eating latkes (potato pancakes), and playing the game "dreidel."
Saturday December 16, 2006 - Saturday, December 23, 2006.
starts sunset December 15)

Purim/ Feast of Lots
This is the annual observance of the events recounted in the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Testament.  The Jewish community of Persia was rescued from destruction due to the efforts of the Jewish Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordecai.  Children often wear costumes - especially of the characters mentioned in the Purim story- when they attend the reading of the Book of Esther in their synagogue. 

According to the Bible, the celebration of Purim consists of four good deeds (mitzvot): feasting, joyfulness, delivering meals to one's friends and giving gifts to the poor.  Purim is a minor holiday and there are no work restrictions.

Sunday, March 4, 2006. 
starts sunset March 3)


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This web site was made possible by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation,
the endowment development program of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

Milwaukee Jewish Council for Community Relations
1360 North Prospect Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 390-5777 email: copyright 2002