#11 Holiday Explorer: Yom Kippur

#11 Yom Kippur – The Holiest Day of the Year

In this lesson you will learn about some of the symbols and traditions of Yom Kippur and learn that Yom Kippur is a day for making a plan to do things in a better way for the new year.

unspecifiedREAD THIS:  Yom Kippur is the tenth day of Tishre, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar year. Yom Kippur is considered to be the Shabbats of all Shabbats. It is the one day of the Jewish year which is equal in importance to Shabbat. Many families gather together before services to have a festive meal prior to the start of Yom Kippur because it is a day of fasting for those who have become bar or bat mitzvahs.

Useful Vocabulary:
G’mar Chatimah Tovah – “Be sealed in the Book of Life” is the traditional greeting used between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Kol Nidre – Is the name of the best known of all the Yom Kippur prayers.
Machzor –  is the prayer book used by Jews on the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Tekiah Gedolah – the final sound made by the shofar which is one long tekiah
Yom Kippur – “Day of Atonement.” The 10th day of the month of Tishre is the day of fasting and asking for forgiveness.
Jonah – is the main character in the Book of Jonah. This story teaches that all people are invited to have God’s blessing and to be forgiven for the things they could have done better throughout the year.

#1. WATCH – Overboard – Jonah and the People of Ninevah

#2. READ/WATCH THIS – Customs on Yom Kippur

unspecified-1Many adults follow special customs on Yom Kippur:

1. No eating or drinking
2. Not wearing leather shoes on Yom Kippur
3. No bathing or washing
4. No putting on lotions or oils
5. Wearing white

(Ages 12+)


change signWhat does it mean to make a plan for change for your New Year? Are there things that you might have said or done this year that didn’t turn out exactly how you would like them to be and what can you do to make them different for the upcoming year?

Yom Kippur is the time in the Jewish year where Jews around the world are taking time to think on how they treat one another and how they can make things better by making a plan of change.

What are some things you can plan to change for a happier and more positive New Year?

#4 WATCH THIS: Saying “Sorry” (Ages 5-11)


Hebrew Text Image
Yom Kippur in the Torah, Leviticus 16: 29-31
“And this is a law for all time: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you will not eat or drink, you will not work. For on this day forgiveness shall be given to you for all of your wrongdoings.”





1. How would you give a Jewish greeting to someone between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?
2. Who was Jonah and why is his story important?
3. On what day of what Jewish month is Yom Kippur observed?
4. What are three of the five customs of Yom Kippur? Why do you think these five things are customary for Yom Kippur?
5. What is the name of the last shofar sound you hear at the end of Yom Kippur?

Need some help?

We’re here for you. At any time, if you have any questions, please contact one of our teachers so we can help you.

Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)!

You can reach us at (646)360-0689 or connect@tamidnyc.org