Event Calendar

Find out what's happening at BJEP this week and throughout the year

View the Calendar


Shavuot: The Festival Honoring Receiving the Torah

Written by Cantor Jeri Robins


Shavuot is one of my favorite holidays. It is the third of our three festival holidays, so-called because, in Temple times, Jews from all over would travel to Jerusalem to make sacrifices. In fact, in Hebrew, Shavuot, along with Sukkot and Pesach (Passover), are called the Shalosh Regalim ([literally] the three legs or feet), because for each of these three holidays people went walking on a pilgrimage. Just as Passover is associated with freedom and redemption from slavery, Shavuot is associated with receiving the Torah or revelation. To mark the occasion, the Ten Commandments are read on Shavuot. Each of the festivals is also marked by a special reading: on Sukkot, we read from the Book of Ecclesiastes (“for everything there is a season” – as we enter fall and winter); on Pesach, we read from the Song of Songs (love poetry); and, on Shavuot, we read the Book of Ruth.


Ruth is a Moabite woman who is the widow of one of Naomi’s sons. Naomi decides to return to her home and encourages Ruth to return to her family. In a very famous scene, Ruth responds to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, my God.” (Ruth 1:16). This quote is considered a statement of conversion for Ruth. Later in the story, she marries Boaz and, in their lineage, is King David.


Today, Shavuot is traditionally celebrated not only with services, but also with study. Some communities hold all-night learning sessions! The other way many observe Shavuot is to eat dairy foods – blintzes and cheesecake are especially popular. Shavuot begins on Saturday night (May 19th) and goes through Monday. Yizkor, a memorial service for those who have lost a direct relative (parent, sibling or child) is recited on Yom Kippur and the three festivals. It is customary to light a yarzheit candle in observance.


Be in touch if you have any questions about Shavuot at director@bjep.comChag Sameach!

Welcome Letter to New Families from the Education Director

Cantor Robins shares her thoughts (pdf) with BJEP families on What makes learning possible and How do we build Jewish identity?

Talking to Our Children About Anti-Semitism

One of our responsibilities as parents and educators is to find ways to respond to our children’s questions.  Cantor Robins shares some thoughts on speaking with our children (pdf) and resources available.

BJEP Alum? Keep in touch!

Seeking former BJEP students, Brandeis students/alumni who were BJEP student teachers, BJEP parents and other Brandeis alum affiliated with BJEP.
Join the ‘BJEP Alumni Association’ on Facebook to hear about 50th anniversary events and re-connect with your BJEP community.

Read all BJEP Blog Posts >> 

Upcoming Events

Nothing from June 21, 2018 to October 19, 2018.

See full calendar