A printed PJ Library Perpetual Jewish Calendar was sent to all subscribers ages 0-8 with the August 2021 books. The accompanying instruction sheet is also reprinted on the back of the calendar itself.
Here are a few additional pointers for using your perpetual calendar:
We included stickers for many Jewish holidays, but not for all of them. Which “made the cut?” We included the holidays that appear most widely in PJ Library books – and the holidays most commonly celebrated by PJ Library families:
- The fall holidays of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Forgiving), Sukkot (Festival of Small Huts), and Simchat Torah (Dancing with the Torah), all of which fall in the same month (Tishrei) in the Jewish calendar (September-October in the Gregorian calendar).
- The winter holiday of Hanukkah (Festival of Lights), which is followed in the calendar by Tu B’Shevat (Birthday of the Trees) and Purim (Festival of Esther’s Bravery)
- The spring holiday of Passover (Festival of Freedom), which is followed in the calendar by Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) and Shavuot (Festival of the Giving of the Torah)
We also included stickers for the “once-every” holidays – Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), which comes once every week (Friday sunset until Saturday nightfall), and New Moon celebration (in Hebrew, Rosh Chodesh), which comes once every month. (Some months have one day of Rosh Chodesh, some have two.)
Learn more about all of these Jewish holidays at pjlibrary.org/holidays.
A holiday in the Perpetual Calendar that may be unfamiliar to many families is Shemini Atzeret, which falls on what would be the “eighth day” (Shemini is Hebrew for “eighth”) of the week-long holiday of Sukkot. Drawing on the spirit of Sukkot as a fall harvest festival, Shemini Atzeret features a collective prayer for rainfall – something every good harvest depends on.
We did not include holidays that are less family-friendly, such as: Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day), Lag B’Omer (a holiday honoring the memory of Jewish sage and mystic Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai), and Tisha B’Av (a fast day commemorating the destruction of the first and second Temple in Jerusalem).
We included the following additional stickers:
If your family lights candles on Shabbat or holidays, this sticker can be a nice reminder.
A number of Jewish holidays coincide with a full moon (Passover, Sukkot, Purim, and Tu B’Shevat), and those holiday stickers have a built-in Full Moon sticker. It can be fun to place a free-standing Full Moon sticker on the date of the full moon (exactly two weeks after New Moon) of other months of the calendar – and then make sure to look outside that night.
Seasons, Birthdays, Vacations, Play Dates
Use these stickers any way you like!
This is the sticker with a braided candle and a spice box. Havdalah is the ceremony on Saturday evening to say “goodbye” to Shabbat, and it features wine or grape juice, spices, and a special candle.
This is the sticker with a coin dropping into a box. Tzedakah, which literally means “justice,” refers to charitable giving, and a tzedakah box (maybe you have a PJ Library tzedakah box?) is designed for collecting coins to support causes that will help make the world better. This sticker can be a good reminder to give coins for tzedakah, especially around a milestone or a holiday.
Pro Tip: When you aren’t using your stickers, put them back on the page they came from. That way they’ll hold their stickiness longer.
Digital Edition of the PJ Library Perpetual Calendar
In the PJ Library Digital Jewish Calendar your family can check out dates for Jewish holidays in the future – and find other fun things.
Here are some tips:
- When you enter the digital calendar, today’s Gregorian date appears at the top. On the calendar itself, today’s date has a dark blue background.
- To the right you’ll see:
- how the moon looks tonight (the Jewish calendar follows the moon)
- what today’s date is on the Jewish calendar and what phase the moon is in tonight
- if today is a Jewish holiday, which holiday it is and what that holiday signifies (with a link to learning more)
- how many days until the next two Jewish holidays
- At the bottom of this box on the right is the “All Holidays” function. Pick a year – any year! – and find out when the Jewish holidays fall on the Gregorian calendar. You’ll never need to wonder “When is Hanukkah next year?” again.
- Next to “All Holidays” is a “Convert a Date” function. You can insert any Gregorian date and learn its date on the Jewish calendar. Try putting in a significant date – like your children’s birthday – and see what date it is on the Jewish calendar. Perhaps you were born on (or near) a Jewish holiday! (Note that in the Jewish calendar 2021-2022 is the year 5782.)
- On the calendar itself, every holiday and Shabbat icon has a unique shape. It spreads across two Gregorian days, so you’ll remember that the holiday begins at sunset and ends after sundown of the next day.
- On this calendar, you can scroll back two years and scroll ahead five years. You can see where holidays fall. Click on any Gregorian date to see (at right) its date on the Jewish calendar and the phase of the moon. Click on “Today” at the top to return to today’s date.
For an explanation of how the Jewish calendar works, visit Frequently Asked Questions About The Jewish Calendar.
July 28, 2021