Shavuot is a spring holiday that celebrates the first harvest, the ripening of the first fruits, and most importantly, the giving of the Torah. In the Bible, Shavuot is called by various other names: Feast of Weeks, Feast of The First Fruits and Feast of the Giving of the Law. This year, the two-day festival begins on the evening of June 7th, 2011. (Please click on the navigation links at left to learn more.)

The festival of Shavuot combines some of the best aspects of Jewish observance and culture. On the one hand, Shavuot celebrates zíman matan torateinu, literally "the time of the giving of the Torah." Shavuot recalls the importance of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people, and many Jews customarily use Shavuot as an opportunity to study from the Torah and other important Jewish texts. On the other hand, Shavuot is also the opportunity to bring the Jewish community together, to celebrate our tradition and heritage, while rejoicing with delicious Shavuot treats. It is customary on Shavuot to eat dairy foods, so delicious recipes for blintzes, cheesecake, and ice cream sundaes are in high demand!

To learn more about the custom of studying Torah on the holiday of Shavuot, you might want to consider watching Megillat Ruth: Journeying Toward The Sacred (Tikkun Leil Shavuot, A Study Program For The Night of Shavuot), an educational video developed by the Union of Reform Judaism.

For an exciting childrenís story on the festival of Shavuot, you might want to consider reading A Mountain of Blintzes by Barbara Diamond Goldin and Anik McGrory. This adorable story talks about the delicious food Jewish people customarily eat on Shavuot, and how Shavuot is an opportunity for families to spend special time together.