Jan Thu 16
The Jewish New Year for trees - For religious accounting purposes all trees have their anniversaries on this festival, regardless of when they were planted.
Mar Sat 1
Fast of Esther (Taanit Esther)
A fast in commemoration of the fast of Mordechai and Esther. This is not a major Jewish fast.
Mar Sun 16
Purim commemorates the time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination by the courage of a young Jewish woman called Esther.
Mar Mon 17
In some places Purim is celebrated one day later. In this case it is called Shushan Purim.
Apr Mon 14
Fast of the Firstborn
Observed only by firstborn males, on the day before Passover. This fast celebrates the survival of Jewish firtborn sons from the 10th Plague of Egypt.
Apr Tue 15
The start of the season of Passover when Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. Work is not permitted on the first two and the last two days of Passover.
Apr Wed 23
The eighth and final day of Passover. Note that Passover lasts for seven days in Israel.
Apr Sun 27
The Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day. The date is chosen as the closest date (in the Jewish calendar) to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
May Sun 4
A day of remembrance on the day preceding Israel's Independence Day.
May Mon 5
Israel's Independence Day
May Sun 18
A minor holiday on the 33rd day of the Omer commemorating a break in the plague during the lifetime of Rabbi Akiva.
May Wed 28
Jun Wed 4
Shavuot is a two-day festival that marks the time when the first harvest was taken to the Temple. Also known as the Festival of Weeks. Work is not permitted for the duration of the festival.
Aug Tue 5
A solemn day that commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the years, many of which have coincidentally happened on this day.
Sep Thu 25
Jewish New Year. A two-day festival during which work is not permitted.
Sep Sat 27
Fast of Gedalliah
Fast in memory of the assassination of Gedalliah Ben Achikam, the Governor of Israel during the days of Nebuchadnetzar, King of Babylonia.
Oct Sat 4
Day of Atonement - the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
Oct Thu 9
Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles, commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land, and celebrates the way in which God took special care of them under impossible conditions. Sukkot lasts for seven days, and work is not permitted on the first two days.
Oct Wed 15
The 7th day of Sukkot.
Oct Thu 16
Shemini Atzeret can be translated as "the assembly of the eighth (day)." In Israel the festival is combined with Simchat Torah.
Oct Fri 17
Simchat Torah means "Rejoicing in the Torah." This holiday marks the completion of the yearly cycle of weekly Torah readings.
Dec Wed 17
Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights and marks the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. Hanukkah is celebrated at roughly the same time as Christmas, but there is no connection at all between the festivals.