PJ Library Lag B’Omer and Shavuot Resources

Celebrate Lag B’Omer and Shavuot with PJ Library and Our Partners!

Lag B’Omer is a joyful Jewish holiday that takes place in the springtime. The meaning of “Lag” is “thirty-three,” derived from gematria, a system of associating each Hebrew letter with a number. “B’Omer” means “of the Omer,” the Omer being the forty-nine-day period between Passover and Shavuot. Thus, Lag B’Omer is the thirty-third day of this period. Ways of celebrating include campfires, archery, hikes and getting a haircut. Lag B’Omer begins Monday, May 8th at sundown.

On Shavuot (the “Feast of Weeks”), we celebrate the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and the first fruits of the late spring harvest. It is a holiday about food, setting up rules to live by, and reading—it is perfect for celebrating with kids! We do this with dairy foods, all-night reading sessions, family hikes, and wearing flower crowns. The holiday starts on Thursday, May 25th at sundown. (Holiday descriptions courtesy PJ Library)

The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and PJ Library are here to help you celebrate these holidays.

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 Family-Friendly Holiday Events

This list will be updated as events are posted. All events are cosponsored by PJ Library in Greater Washington.

The ages listed with each program are recommendations for who would most appreciate the program, but all are welcome.

Bim Bom Bag: Lag B’Omer and Shavuot Edition

Order by May 10th; join an online celebration, Thursday, May 18that 4:30 PM

Enjoy a bag-tastic and exciting opportunity to learn about Jewish customs and holidays through arts & crafts, stories, and discussions. When you sign up, we will provide Shavuot and Lag B’Omer themed arts & crafts activities to work on independently with your child(ren). A few days later, we will get together on Zoom to share our creative crafts, read a story, and learn cool facts about the holidays.

MoCo families sign up with the Bender JCC

VA families sign up with the Pozez JCC

Young Families Pre-Shavuot Celebration

Saturday, May 20th | 5:30 PM
Hill Havurah (Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC)

Join Hill Havurah for a Pre-Shavuot Havdalah (ritual to end Shabbat) n’ Shmooze (social time) ice cream social! We’ll have macaroni and cheese, salads, cheesecake, ice cream, the Ten Commandments and you! Kids, siblings, grandparents, and parents welcome! RSVP in advance.

Cookies and Milk for Shavuot

Sunday, May 21st | 3:30 PM
Captain Cookie and the Milk Man (2200 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA)
Each family buys their own treats

Shavuot is the holiday where we celebrate by eating dairy! Join Pozez JCC JFamily Ambassador Melissa in Arlington to eat some cookies, drink some milk, and learn more about Shavuot. Bring a blanket to sit and eat in the courtyard outside of Captain Cookie.

Shavuot Park Playdate

Wednesday, May 24th | 2:00 PM
“The Pit” at Beverly Park (620 North Overlook Drive, Alexandria, VA)

Join Pozez JCC JFamily Ambassador Join Danielle at this beautiful playground, learn more about Shavuot, and meet new people!

Shavuot Celebration

Thursday, May 25th | 7:30 PM
Hill Havurah (Reformation, 212 E. Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC)

Join Hill Havurah and Bet Mishpachah for an Erev Shavuot of delicious torah, wine, and cheesecake. We’ll hear stories of choosing Judaism — from the Book of Ruth, and from members of our own congregations — and celebrate with conversation and community.

Shavuot Ice Cream Truck Party!

Thursday, May 25th | 4:30 PM
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville, MD)

I scream, you scream, we all scream, for ice cream with our Wandering J “Ice Cream” truck. Bring a blanket and join us as we make ice cream-themed necklaces, read a story, and enjoy a sweet treat together. Best suited for children under 6 years old.

Ice Cream for Shavuot

Sunday, May 28th | 1:00 PM
Great Falls Creamery (The Village Center, 766 C Walker Rd, Great Falls, VA)
Each family buys their own treats

Shavuot is the holiday where we celebrate by eating dairy! Join Pozez JCC JFamily Ambassador Hanna in Great Falls to eat some ice cream and learn more about Shavuot. Bring a blanket to sit and eat in the courtyard at the Village Green.

Fun and Field Day – Lag B’Omer at Oseh Shalom

Sunday, May 7th | 10:00 AM
Oseh Shalom (7515 Olive Branch Way, Laurel, MD)

Join us for an outdoor Lag B’Omer celebration with archery, a campfire, nature games, and tzedakah box decorating! Toddlers welcome. Archery is for 3rd Grade and up. All other activities are open to all ages. Please RSVP to [email protected].

Lag B’Omer Field Day Fun

Sunday, May 7th | 4:30 PM
Agudas Achim Congregation (2908 Valley Drive, Alexandria, VA)

Join Agudas Achim on the playground for fun field day activities, a picnic (families are welcome to bring their own picnic dinners (dairy or parve)), followed by a firepit and making s’mores. You’ll meet other young families and make new friends!

Lag B’Omer Picnic

Monday, May 8th | 6:00 PM
Providence Park (D & 3rd Streets, SE, Washington, DC)

Join Hill Havurah for a picnic — with food, field games (including kiddie archery and kite flying), and fun to celebrate Lag B’Omer.  We’ll provide bagels and cream cheese, some snacks and desserts, water, juice boxes, and beer, and plates, cups, utensils, etc. We ask you, if you can, to bring something to add to the mix.

Lag B’Omer Community Celebration

Tuesday, May 9th | 5:30 PM
Chabad Lubavitch of Northern Virginia (3939 Prince William Dr, Fairfax, VA)
$12/adults, $8 children, toddlers 2 and under are free

The Pozez JCC, Chabad of NoVA, Gesher Jewish Day School, PJ Library and more invite you to celebrate Lag B’Omer in style on the Chabad campus. Enjoy a Mechanical Bull, Moon Bounce, Bonfire, Face Painting, Carnival Games and more! You can also purchase dinner from Char Bar onsite.
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Ideas for Celebrating With Your Family

Here are some Shavuot traditions and ways you can make them your own:

Yom Habikkurim (Festival of the First Fruits): Another name for Shavuot speaks to it being a harvest holiday where Jews would bring the first fruits of the harvest to the Temple in Jerusalem. Celebrate our local harvest with one of these pick-your-own farms that have strawberries, flowers, and fresh produce.

Chag ha-Katzir (Harvest Festival of Reaping): Wheat was one of the items harvested and brought to the Temple. You can celebrate this by buying or making challah with your children. Shannon Sarna, author of Modern Jewish Baker, has some challah hacks for busy parents. Pair the challah with butter in a jar, to combine the wheat with dairy.

Receiving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai: Moses received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. Make your own set of ten family rules with input from each member of your household. You can also make Mount Sinai crafts to help your children remember the history of the holiday.

Flower Crowns: Legend has it that when Moses received the Torah, the barren hills of Mount Sinai burst into bloom. Celebrate with picking flowers, making paper flowers, and making flower crowns.

Tikkun Leil Shavuot (the practice of studying Torah all night long):  Reading Torah, especially the Book of Ruth, all night is one way to celebrate. Have an “all-nighter” by letting your kids stay up late reading, with no need to hide with a book and flashlight under the covers! Find a PJ Library book about Shavuot to add to the stack.

Eating Dairy Foods: There are many reasons given for eating dairy foods on Shavuot, but your kids probably do not need the excuse. Try an ice cream sundae bar to go with your reading all-nighter, or make some of these cool treats (dairy and dairy-free options). Kids love shaking up butter in a jar, too (and it goes great with the challah)!

Take a Hike: Emulate the Israelites and take a hike outside. Check out these kid-friendly local destinations.

Learn more about Shavuot on the PJ Library Holiday Hub.

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Family-Friendly Lag B'Omer and Shavuot Experiences Cosponsored by PJ Library in Greater Washington

Pride [email protected]

Friday, June 2, 2023 | 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Wheelchair Accessible

Oseh Shalom Religious School Info. Sessions

Friday, June 2, 2023 | 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Gan Shabbat at Agudas Achim

Saturday, June 3, 2023 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Wheelchair Accessible

Celebrating Pride with Gaithersburg Community Museum

Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 11:30 am - 3:30 pm

Wheelchair Accessible

Preschool on a Sunday!

Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Wheelchair Accessible

Oseh Shalom Religious School Info. Sessions

Thursday, June 8, 2023 | 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

Rhythm ‘N’ Ruach Shabbat Family Jam

Saturday, June 10, 2023 | 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Wheelchair Accessible