Congregation Adath Israel

Street Address
115 Huntingtown Road, Newtown, CT

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 623, Newtown, CT 06470

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(203) 426-5188 | Email
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Holidays

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

We welcome you to worship with us this holiday season. This year our services will be presented differently than any other. Like so many other synagogues, we will be live-streaming most services in an effort to keep everyone safe. We will begin with Rosh Hashanah on Saturday September 19 and conclude with Yom Kippur on Monday September 28.  As always, we will have options on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur of different styled services to meet your family’s needs.  These range from the traditional adult service live-streamed from our sanctuary, to shorter and more lively youth services, to a young children’s service on ZOOM. We are pleased that we can continue to provide these meaningful and spiritually moving services and hope that you will join us this Holiday season.

We are sorry to say that our outdoor Tashlich gathering and potluck dinner on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and our community Break-the-Fast at the conclusion of Yom Kippur will be canceled this year.

If you are new to our community, the High Holidays would typically present an excellent opportunity to get involved, to meet new people and to make new friends.  We hope that next year we can resume all usual services and activities. You are most welcome to join in our live-streamed holiday services this year. Please contact the synagogue at office@congadathisrael.org or ritual@congadathisrael.org for further information on how you and your family can participate.

The High Holiday service schedule can be found on the HOME page and on the calendar.

Sukkot

This event is being canceled this year. The holiday of Sukkot follows right on the heels of Yom Kippur. It is a festive time of year as the autumn leaves fill with color and the warm weather still beckons for us to stay out of doors. It is a harvest festival and also commemorates the 40 years of wandering in the desert when the Israelites lived in temporary booth like dwellings. At Adath Israel, we typically celebrate with a short service and meal in the Sukkah. Everyone has a chance to shake the lulov (fronds of palm, myrtle and willow) and smell the sweet citrusy aroma of the etrog (Israeli citron fruit). All are invited to attend our popular “Pizza in the Hut” meal in the Sukkah. This holiday is NOT just for children. Pizzas must be ordered in advance. Please contact the office.

Simchat Torah

This event is being canceled this year. Simchat Torah is a holiday that not all are familiar with. Signaling the end of the week of Sukkot it is the Jewish holiday that marks the cycling of the year’s Torah readings.  The Torah is both completed and started anew, without pause.  The last verses of Deuteronomy are chanted and then the first verses of Genesis, accompanied by a lot of dancing, singing, candy, and ceremony.  It is a fun evening in the synagogue for young and old alike.  Children parade around the sanctuary absorbing the pure joy of being Jewish.  Our Simchat Torah service this year may be live-streamed.  Just before the start of Simchat Torah we will have a traditional Yizkor memorial service.  This will begin at 6:00 pm.

Chanukah

Community Menorah Lighting to Celebrate Chanukah – DATE TO BE DETERMINED

Chanukah begins this year on Thursday evening December 10.  We hope to join together outside in front of our synagogue to light a large menorah. We will sing the traditional Chanukah blessings and songs and share chocolate gelt.  Afterwards, come in to the warmth of our building for a latkah, a jelly doughnut and some hot cider.  Spread the word—this is a public event.  All are welcome.  Bring your friends to this celebration.

Tu B'Shevat

This event will be held in person if safe to do so. If not, it will be live-streamed. On Friday evening January 29, we will be celebrating Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees with a Tu B’Shevat Seder.  Similar to a Passover Seder, this is an organized ritual service and meal full of imagery and symbolism.  The meal is divided into four sections that represent the four seasons, each with their own foods and wine.  Our evening will begin at 7:30 with an abbreviated Shabbat service.  At 8 pm we will adjourn to the Social Hall where the Seder will commence.

Purim

This event will be held in person if safe to do so. If not, it will be live-streamed. On Thursday evening February 25, we will be celebrating the holiday of Purim in our Sanctuary.  Please join us for the Megillah reading at 6:30 pm.  Purim celebrates the story of the rescue of the Persian Jews of Shoshan from the wicked Haman.  Several congregants and children of congregants will be chanting lines of the Megillah.  We will hear the Purim story, shake gregors (noise makers), sing songs, and eat Hamentashen. All are encouraged to come in costumes – not just children!

Passover

Passover is celebrated in our School each year with a Model Seder.  A 2nd night Seder on Sunday March 28 will be planned if safe to do so. Reservations will be required.  We also have participated in and hosted Interfaith Seders with area houses of worship.

Lag B'Omer

Lag B’Omer is celebrated in our Sunday School. It is a morning of fun and games with the highlight being toasting marshmallows over a campfire and enjoying S’mores.

Shavuot

On Shavuot we celebrate the giving of the Torah at Mt Sinai. It is traditional to read the verses of Torah that include the Ten Commandments and the story of Moses bringing the tablets down from the mountain top.  And so, we will hear the Ten Commandments being chanted.   It is also traditional to eat dairy products, and most particularly to eat blintzes.  We typically hold a potluck luncheon or dinner showcasing some of the finest in blintzes that our congregation has to offer.