Congregation Adath Israel

Street Address
115 Huntingtown Road, Newtown, CT

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

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Holidays

Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

We welcome you to worship with us this holiday season. Rosh Hashanah begins fairly early this year, on Sunday evening, September 9.  Yom Kippur follows a week later beginning with the Kol Nidre service on Tuesday evening September 18.  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 in the sanctuary, to shorter and more lively youth services, to a young children’s service.  There will also be babysitting and snacks available for young children.

Highlights of the season include 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.  We also look forward to Cantor Jill Rabin joining us once again.  Her beautiful chanting of the traditional holiday melodies pulls us immediately into the spirit of the season.

If you are new to our community, the High Holidays present an excellent opportunity to get involved, to meet new people and to make new friends.  Contact the synagogue office 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

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

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 is on Monday evening October 1, at 6:30 pm.  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 3rd Night of Chanukah – Tuesday, December 4

Chanukah begins this year on Sunday evening December 2.  On the third night of Chanukah, at 6 pm, we will 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

On Friday evening January 25, 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

On Wednesday evening March 20, 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.  Some years we hold a 2nd night Seder and we have also participated in and hosted Interfaith Seders.

Lag B'Omer

Lag B’Omer is celebrated in our Sunday School. It is 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.