Holidays and Festival Worship

Upcoming Holidays

SEPT 1 2018

Rosh Hashannah
SEPT 9–11 2018

Yom Kippur
SEPT 18–19 2018

SEPT 24–25 2018

See the full list of Jewish holidays
for 2018/19

Note: All Jewish holidays begin at sunset.

Special services and activities are conducted for religious holidays and festivals. These include:


This service, which ushers in the High Holy Days, includes a special Oneg, then a study session and worship service.

High Holy Day Services

Beth Shalom welcomes a guest cantor for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur worship. Children’s High Holiday services are conducted by our Baton Rouge Temple Youth Group, in coordination with the rabbi & cantor.

Two days of worship are observed for Rosh Hashanah. Sisterhood hosts an Oneg following the first Rosh Hashanah evening service. Tashlich service is held at a natural body of water on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.

There is a congregational Festival Meal prior to the second evening of Rosh Hashanah service, and a congregational Kiddush Luncheon hosted by the Brotherhood following the second morning Rosh Hashanah service.

Yizkor service is held on Yom Kippur afternoon, just prior to the Neilah service. Sisterhood hosts a Break Fast reception at the conclusion of Yom Kippur services.


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Sukkot is celebrated for eight days. Our community comes together to build and decorate the Synagogue’s Sukkah where members enjoy festival meals throughout the holiday. The congregational family comes together for a Dairy Potluck festival meal just prior to our service on Erev Sukkot. Festival Shacharit Services are held on the first two and last two mornings of Sukkot. Yizkor is observed during the morning service on the 8th day of Sukkot (Shemini Atzeret morning service).

Simchat Torah

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Sisterhood and Brotherhood host a deli dinner followed by Simchat Torah Services. During Simchat Torah services, everyone has an opportunity to dance with the Torah. Students who are new to our Religious School are blessed during Consecration.


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Our Beth Shalom family comes together to celebrate Shabbanukkah on the Shabbat during Chanukah for a very special Chanukah Dinner and Kabbalat Shabbat Service.

Tu B’Shvat

Tu B’shvat observances vary from year to year, but are always an opportunity for planting trees and for Jewish education of environmental concerns.


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Our congregation celebrates Purim with the traditional wearing of costumes and with a Dairy Potluck Family Dinner, followed by a Megillah reading and Purim Shpiel.


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Passover is observed at Beth Shalom with a congregational Seder on the second night. Festival Shacharit Services are held on the first two and last two mornings of Passover. Yizkor is observed on the eighth day of Passover during the Festival Shacharit Service. 

Yom HaShoah

Beth Shalom Synagogue, Congregation B’nai Israel and the Jewish Federation of Greater Baton Rouge join together annually to observe Yom HaShoah. Typically, the location for our Baton Rouge community’s Yom HaShoah observance alternates yearly between each of the synagogues. For more than a decade, the Advocate newspaper has sponsored an essay contest for local students. The winners of the essay contest are recognized during the service and their essays are published in The Advocate. The interfaith community is invited to and participates in our Yom HaShoah observance.

Yom Ha’atzma’ut

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Our synagogue’s founders’ strong sense of Zionism has resulted in our observance of Yom Ha’Atzma-ut (Israel’s Independence Day) with a variety of celebrations.

Counting of the Omer between Pesach and Shavuot/Lag Ba-Omer

The Omer is counted during services between Pesach and Shavuot. It is customary to study Pirkei Avot during the seven weeks of the Omer counting.

Shavuot & Yizkor Services

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Shavuot is observed for two days at Beth Shalom, with Festival Shacharit Services held each morning, and Yizkor observed during the morning service of the 2nd day. On Erev Shavuot, the Festival Evening Service, which is led by our 10th grade confirmation class students, is also a celebration of these students’ Confirmation. Tikkun Leyl Shavuot is the late night study session that begins after the Shavuot evening service. 

Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av is observed with a study session followed by the chanting of the Lamentations during the worship service. Please visit our calendar page for the current and complete list of service times.