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Holidays at NSCI

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We invite you to join us for the many Jewish holidays throughout the year. We create the right environment taking into consideration music, accessibility, and liturgy.


From lively Purim celebrations for the kids to unrolling the Torah for Simchat Torah for all of our congregants, we’d love to have you join us for the holidays.


Holidays form the circle of the Jewish year. While celebrating and observing with our community fills an important role, there is also an essential component that we can fulfill at home, especially for our children, for whom we set the example of Jewish worship.


We offer these holiday guides to help you participate and understand their importance. You will find resources for you and your family, as well as programs and events at NSCI closer to the time of each holiday. Enjoy.

High Holy Days

NSCI hits a high note during the High Holy Days. Our building is abuzz with congregants of all ages from morning to night. We have many services from which to choose. Congregants and non-congregants are invited to our community services. The dates for High Holy Days 2024/5785 are as follows:


  • Erev Rosh Hashanah—Wednesday, October 2nd
  • Rosh Hashanah First Day—Thursday, October 3rd
  • Rosh Hashanah Second Day—Friday, October 4th
  • Kol Nidre—Friday, October 11th
  • Yom Kippur—Saturday, October 12th


At-Home Resources and Activities Book

Erev Rosh Hashanah Seder

Erev Rosh Hashanah Story

Shofar Lesson with Cantor Goldstein


Archived Sermons from 2023

Rabbi Lisa Greene's Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text (text)

Rabbi Lisa Greene's Erev Rosh Hashanah Sermon (video)

Rabbi Wendi Geffen's Rosh Hashanah Sermon Text (text)

Rabbi Wendi Geffen's Rosh Hashanah Traditional Service Sermon (video)

Rabbi Wendi Geffen's Kol Nidre Alternative Service Teaching Text Sheet (text)

Rabbi Wendi Geffen's Kol Nidre Traditional Service Sermon (video)

Rabbi Wendi Geffen's Kol Nidre Traditional Service Sermon Text Sheet (text)

Rabbi Jacob Leizman's Yom Kippur Traditional Service Sermon (Video)

Rabbi Lisa Greene's Yizkor Message Text (text)

Rabbi Lisa Greene's Yizkor Message (video)


For Kids:

The Rosh Hashanah Special with Bim Bam

Dip the Apple Song with Bim Bam

Getting Kids Ready for Yom Kippur: Really, Really Sorry: Learning Slicha with Bim Bam

High Holy Days at Home: A PJ Library Family Guide
Big List of High Holy Day Resources for Families with Young Children

Celebrating the High Holy Days as a Family

Talking to Your Kids about Yom Kippur

How to Ready Your Young Child for Yom Kippur





Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret, and Simchat torah

We celebrate Sukkot with activities for children, families, and adults throughout the week. On the last day (Shmini Atzeret), we offer a Yizkor/memorial service that proves meaningful and comforting year after year. Our dates for celebrating Sukkot, Simchat Torah, and Shmini Atzaret are as follows:


  • Sukkot—Wednesday, October 16th–Wednesday, October 23rd
  • Simchat Torah—Wednesday, October 23rd
  • Shmini Atzaret—Thursday, October 24th


How to Build a Sukkah

5 Sukkot Activities You Can Do with What You Have at Home

Sukkot, Diversity, and Unity: How Each of Us is Like the Four Species

How Can I Observe Sukkot If I Do Not Have A Sukkah?

The Saga of the Citron

Read More About Simchat Torah

The History of Simchat Torah

How Did Simchat Torah Get So Popular?


For Kids:

Sukkot Family Activities

How to Shake the Lulav

Kid-Friendly Snacks for the Sukkah

Shalom Sesame: Avigail & Brosh Explain Hachnasat Orchim (Welcoming Guests into the Sukkah)

Make Edible Torah Treats

7 Fun Things to Do With Kids on Simchat Torah




Chanukah 2024 begins with the first night on Wednesday, December 25th and ends with the eighth night on Thursday, January 2nd, 2025.



Betty Greene's Latke Recipe (Rabbi Greene's mother)

Chanukah Blessings

Chanukah Customs & Rituals

Chanukah Recipes

Chanukah Story

Dreidel Game Instructions

Virtual Dreidel Game


For Kids:

PJ Library Chanukah Resources

The Chanukah Shaboom! Special with Bim Bam

Kid-Friendly Chanukah Story

Chanukah Hokey Pokey Song

Dreidel Song with Bim Bam

Family Activities




Purim is for everyone—not just kids! Experience the joy of the holiday with fun events at NSCI and activities you can do on your own time. Beginning March 13th, enjoy a week’s worth of activities leading up to Purim, which begins the evening of Saturday, March 23rd, and ends at sundown on Sunday, March 24th. Did we mention a raffle prize? Click here for more info on Mission Purim!


Purim is a joyous holiday celebrating the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre during the Persian period (539-330 BCE).



NSCI Clergy and Staff Tell the Purim Story in this Animated Video

9 Things You Didn't Know About Purim

How to Make Perfect Hamentaschen + Recipe

Learn About Other Purim Food -- it's not all about Hamentaschen!

Test Your Knowledge with this Purim Quiz!

The Story of Purim

Quiz: What Kind of Hamentaschen Are You?


For Kids:

An Encanto Purim By The Maccabeats

What is Purim? An Introduction to the Holiday with BimBam

Chag Purim (Hava Narisha RASH RASH RASH)

The Story of Purim Video from PJ Library
Mishenichnas Adar Sing-Along for Purim



Passover begins the evening of April 22nd and ends at sundown on April 30th.


Passover is a wonderful time to welcome guests into our homes, especially for those who do not have a place to go for the holiday. If you have an extra seat at your seder table, please contact Sue Ellenby, so we can help connect you with someone who is looking for a seder to attend.


At NSCI we will celebrate Passover with the Passover Morning Experience and study on Tuesday, April 23rd, at 9:30 am, and a Yizkor or memorial ritual.  The administrative office will close at 1:00 pm before the first Passover Seder on April 22nd and will remain closed until 9:00 am on April 25th. Additionally, the administration office will be closed on April 29th to allow staff to observe the  final day of Passover.



Dayenu Moments: NSCI’s 2021 Seder Supplement

Everything You Need to Host a Virtual Seder

Downloadable Haggadot for Adults

Make Your Own Haggadah

PJ Library Haggadah to Download

A Refresher: The Four Questions

Tour Chicago, Passover Style

The Maccabeats sing Dayenu

Six13 Performs a Lion King Passover

Six13 Performs a Billy Joel Passover

Pour Out Your Compassion


For Kids:

Downloadable Haggadah For Families

Extra Resources for Kids: ShaBoom: What’s Different About Tonight? With Bim Bam

Cute Coloring Book: Pesach, Pesach What Do You See

Frogs Here, Frogs There, Song with Bim Bam




Yom Ha'atzmaut 2024 begins the evening of May 12th and ends at sundown on May 14th.


Yom Ha'atzmaut is Israeli Independence Day, commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. 



5 Israeli Foods to Try

How to Make Israeli Independence Day a Sacred Day

How to Talk to Kids About Israel

Read more about Yom Ha'atzmaut Customs

The Maccabeats Perform Megillat Ha'Atzmaut


For Kids:

Learn About Israeli Independence Day with Bim Bam (for families)

Activities for Kids Ages 9+ on Israeli Independence Day

Activities for Younger Kids on Israeli Independence Day

Children's Books About Israel




Shavuot 2024 begins the evening of  June 11th and ends the evening of June 13th.


Shavuot is known as the Feast of Weeks. It celebrates the early summer grain harvest and also gives thanks for the Torah that was handed to us at Mount Sinai. The holiday is normally celebrated by eating a festive dairy meal, all nighters studying the Book of Ruth, and going to synagogue to hear the 10 Commandments.


What is Shavuot? All About the Jewish Holiday for Torah and Learning

Tikkun Leil Shavuot Videos and Study Guides

Online Tikkun Leil Shavuot Communal Study Events

18 Delicious Recipes for Shavuot (Besides Cheesecake)


For Kids:

Celebrate Shavuot with Shalom Sesame
The Book of Ruth for Kids

What is Shavuot with Bim Bam

Mount Sinai Crafts for Kids (PJ Library)


Wed, April 17 2024 9 Nisan 5784