1. Food

Jewish Holiday Cooking


Holiday celebrations are a highly effective means of binding families and passing on traditions. It follows that Jewish holidays - Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succoth, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Tu B'Shvat, Purim, Passover and Shavuot - have been highly important to the Jewish People, who have faced external threats to their survival throughout history. Food plays a primary part in the celebration of Jewish holidays. Enjoy these Jewish holiday menus and recipes.
  1. Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat)
  2. Rosh Hashanah
  3. Yom Kippur
  4. Sukkot
  5. Simchat Torah
  1. Hanukkah
  2. Purim
  3. Passover
  4. Shavuot
  5. Nine Days & Tisha B'Av

Jewish Sabbath (Shabbat)

Combining Judaism's Dietary Laws and Jewish Sabbath Laws leads to unique Shabbat menus, recipes and cooking methods.

Rosh Hashanah

On the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Jews eat foods that symbolize good things they hope for in the coming year. Apples and honey hint of a sweet year, while fish hints at a prosperous year to come. Learn about Rosh Hashanah food traditions, get ideas for Rosh Hashanah menus, and find Rosh Hashanah recipes.

Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year. While Jews observe a strict fast on Yom Kippur day, there are traditions regarding food eaten before (Meal of Cessation, Seudat Mafseket) and after the fast (Break Fast).


During the harvest and pilgrimage festival of Sukkot (Judaism's Feast of Tabernacles), Jews eat in temporary huts like the ancient Israelites did in the desert after the Exodus. Given the colorful surroundings of each booth (sukkah) and the harvest theme, Sukkot recipes include lots of fruits and vegetables. Stuffed vegetables, symbolic of a bountiful harvest, are traditionally served.

Simchat Torah

Jews read successive portions of the Torah every Sabbath in synagogue. On Simchat Torah, which means "Joy of the Torah", they read the last passage in the Torah and then they immediately read the first passage in the Torah. Thus, there is an unbroken cycle of reading Judaism's holiest book. Food customs have evolved and certain kosher recipes have become Simchat Torah traditions.


While potato pancakes (levivot or latkes) and jelly doughnuts (sufganiot) are the most popular Hanukkah treats, there are many more delicious traditional and contemporary Jewish holiday recipes that can add flavor to your Hanukkah celebration.


Purim is a joyous festival during which Jewish children dress up in costumes to listen to the Scroll of Esther read in synagogue, food baskets (Shlach Manos) filled with special Purim pastries such as Hamantashen (Oznai Haman) are exchanged, and a special Purim feast (Seudat Purim) is shared with family and friends.


Jewish cooks worldwide and over the centuries have sought ways to create food for Passover that is tasty despite the extra kosher restrictions placed on food during this weeklong holiday. These kosher-for-Passover recipes are the fruits of their labor.


Shavuot, the Feast of the Weeks, is the Jewish holiday celebrating the harvest season in Israel and the anniversary of the giving of the Ten Commandments to the Israelites at Mount Sinai. It is customary to eat dairy food on Shavuot. Enjoy these recipes for everything from cheese blintzes to lasagna to cheesecake.

Nine Days & Tisha B'Av

It is customary for Jews to refrain from eating meat during the Nine Days (Tishat HaYamim) leading up to the Ninth of Av (Tisha B’Av). Tisha B'Av - the ninth day of the Jewish calendar month of Av - is a day of fasting and mourning the destruction of Temples as well as other tragedies suffered by Jews in the past.

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