Congregation Kol Ami of Frederick observes the holidays of the Jewish calendar with services, celebrations, and opportunities to come together throughout the year to share in the traditions, to learn together, participate in social action activities, and to grow closer as individuals, families, and community members.
The Jewish High Holidays are the most important time of year. Each Fall, we gather in community to reflect upon the year that has passed and consider how we might better ourselves and our community in the year to come.
Sukkot: The Fall Harvest Festival
Sukkot, meaning “booths” is celebrated on the heels of Yom Kippur and commemorates the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert. We build a sukkah, a temporary dwelling shelter, wherein we enjoy a festive meal with family and friends.
Simchat Torah: The Joy of Torah
Simchat Torah is a lively celebration in honor of our most sacred text, the Torah. At Congregation Kol Ami, our Religious School students and parents celebrate the day by gathering together at Religious School to learn, dance, and sing in honor of the Torah and its teachings.
Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights
Hanukkah is a prominent Jewish holiday that is celebrated each winter. It is an eight-night celebration that honors the heroic victory of the Maccabees and the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. Hanukkah is a festive time with the lighting of menorahs and good food celebrated as a community at one of our Shabbat services.
Purim: A Celebration of Jewish Survival
Purim is like Halloween and Mardi Gras all rolled into one, but with a Jewish twist. The holiday commemorates the heroine Esther who concealed her identity as a Jew to save the Jews of Persia long ago. We read from the Scroll of Esther and dress in costumes during a Shabbat service to celebrate this holiday. Fun for the whole family.
Passover: From Slavery to Freedom
Passover is the most widely celebrated Jewish holiday throughout the world. The Passover holiday celebrates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt and eventual freedom in the Promised Land. Each year, we gather as a community on the second night of Passover for a seder – a ritual meal and retelling of the story of our people’s journey. At the conclusion of the week-long celebration, it has become a tradition in our community to gather with friends of other faith communities for an interfaith Passover seder.