terms

Aliyah – immigration to Israel.

Baruch HaShem – thank God.

Bat Mitzvah a coming-of-age celebration for Jewish girls (Bar Mitzvah for boys). The initiation is typically done around their 12th or 13th birthday when they are considered to have reached adulthood.

Birthright – a free ten-day right-of-passage trip for young Jewish adults ages 18-26 to return to Israel and discover their heritage and culture.

Kibbutz – a collective community in Israel where everyone works together, is dependent on one another and share everything. Some think of it as a combination between zionism and socialism.

Mitzvah – a commandment of the Jewish law; a good deed.

Purim – a holiday celebrated on the 14th of Adar in the Jewish calendar (usually in spring around February or March). It’s a memorial for the massacre of Jews planned by Haman, and is celebrated by dressing up in costumes, much like Halloween.

Sababa – it’s like the Hebrew great or cool. Or in Mean Girls terms, it’s grool.

Shabbat – the Jewish day of rest. It starts on sundown on Fridays and lasts until the following night. Shabbat is observed by refraining from work and celebrating with a meal blessed by family and friends.

Shuk – an open-air marketplace selling goods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, cheese, shoes and clothing.

Tikkun olam – repairing or healing the world. It suggests that Jewish people, and the rest of humanity, have a shared responsibility to heal and transform the world. The phrase is in a prayer that is traditionally said three times a day.

Zionist –  a person who believes Jews should have their own nation.

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