Congregation Emanuel celebrates the entire Jewish calendar of holidays, with prayer, song and chant in both familiar and new musical settings. But over the course of many seasons here in Kingston, we’ve developed our own traditions and events to enhance and make more meaningful those special days.
contemplation and learning.

Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year)

Hearing the Shofar, at this time, helps us as individuals and as a community to reflect on the past year and plan for the new one. Introspection and forgiveness mark the beginning of the Days of Awe. The ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time to seek reconciliation and to begin again.

On the second day, many of our congregation meet in the morning at Poets’ Walk, overlooking the Hudson in Red Hook, to walk, reflect and read some of our favorite prose.

Yom Kippur

In our most important day of the Jewish Year, we seek atonement for our sins between man and G-d.


The eight days of Sukkot is a celebration of the harvest. We build a Sukkah on the Temple grounds, celebrating under its roof.


Festival of Lights is celebratedwith a community candle lighting and Hanukah Happening at the Temple. Children bring their Menorahs to the temple and we light all the Menorahs in unison. Eating Latkes and singing songs of course are part of the fun.


Celebrating Purim at the Temple is fun for the whole family. The Book of Esther is read to the congregation and when Hamen’s name is mentioned, the children drown it out with lots of noise. Children and some adults dress up in costume.


Each year women of the Temple celebrate with a Women’s Seder during Passover week. On the second night Congregation Emanuel celebrates with a community-wide Seder. Everyone is invited. Our new tradition is a solemn Yom h’Shoah seder, with a new theme every year.


According to the calendar, the 50th day after Passover is Shavout, celebrating receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai. Only dairy foods such as eggs and cheese are eaten on that day.

We study ‘till midnight and wake up to a sunrise service on the water by the Rondout.