Shabbat & Holidays
Celebrate the rhythms of the Jewish calendar right here on campus with Northwestern Hillel!
“More than the Jewish people have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.”
- Ahad Ha’am
Shabbat is the holiday so sweet, it happens each and every week! As the day of rest, Shabbat offers us an opportunity to catch our breath after a busy week of class and to joyfully connect with our friends.
Join us Friday nights for Shabbat services and free Shabbat dinner with delicious kosher food (including vegetarian options) and excellent company.
Friday night Shabbat services currently begin at 6:00 pm, followed by dinner at 7:00 pm. Saturday morning services are also offered for students. The Traditional Egalitarian minyan meets on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month at 9:30 AM. The Traditional Orthodox minyan meets every Saturday morning at 9:00 AM.
"But at Sukkot, there is no anxiety. There is nothing to hold back. There is only rejoicing."
- Rabbi Alan Lew
Sukkot is referred to as "the time of our joy," and we express that unfettered jubilation for eight days through time outdoors, singing and hospitality. Each year at Sukkot, we are encouraged to spend as much of our week as possible in an outdoor hut known as a Sukkah, where we shake around four species of plants and welcome guests to join us for meals.
This year, Sukkot falls between Wednesday, October 13th and Thursday, October 20th. For a full list of Sukkot activities, click here.
"All the darkness cannot extinguish the light of a single candle, yet one candle can illuminate all the darkness."
- Quoted in the diary of Hannah Senesh
Hanukkah (literally "dedication") is an eight-day Festival of Lights that often takes place in the dead of winter. Celebrate the miraculous and joyful in your life by lighting a hanukkiyah (a special menorah for the holiday), playing dreydl, or eating delicious fried treats like latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts).
This year, Hanukkah starts after exams end, but be on the lookout for information about our annual Latkepalooza!
“Purim is...the closest Jews come to the idea of carpe diem.”
- Rabbi Sharon Brous
Purim is one of the most joyful days of the Jewish year, a day of costumes, noisemakers, sweet treats, and sending gifts to both friends and the needy.
This year, Purim falls on March 9th-March 10th. Be on the lookout for more details on our Purim celebrations in the winter quarter.
“In every generation, it is incumbent upon each person to view themselves as though they personally had gone out from Egypt.”
- Passover Haggadah
Passover is a celebration of freedom, collective memory, and the power of asking questions. Preparation for the holiday encourages us to do a little “spring cleaning,” both physically and spiritually, so we can reflect on the themes of the season.
In 2020, Passover falls on April 8th through April 16th.
Please click here to learn about our Passover meal plan and more!
“Turn it and turn it again, for everything is in it.”
- Pirkei Avot 5:22
Shavuot represents the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, and it’s a time for late-night learning and cheesecake (though nobody quite knows why the cheesecake).
In 2020, Shavuot falls on May 28th-30th.
Check back soon for information about Sinai Slam, an evening for Northwestern students to share true personal stories related to themes of Shavuot.
Simchat Torah (October 20-22, 2019)
Tu B’Shvat (February 9-10, 2020)
Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) (April 20-21, 2020)
Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) (April 28-29, 2020)
Tisha B’Av (July 29-30, 2020)