Wishing You Health and Happiness for the New Year from the Entire Judaica WebStore Team in Jerusalem!
Celebrate with us by reading about how Israelis mark the secular New Year, as well as our suggestions for how you can support Israel in 2023!
New Year's Celebrations in Israel
January 1st is normally a regular workday in Israel and officially not much more than a date change in the secular calendar, which is used alongside the Hebrew calendar (with Rosh Hashanah as the Jewish New Year and an important national celebration). However, many Israelis still enjoy celebrating New Year’s Eve – often called Sylvester, the name used by the German Jewish immigrants who first popularized the holiday in Israel in the 1930’s – although the practice is not as widespread as in some other Western countries.
There are various parties, concerts, and special events, particularly in Tel Aviv – a fun-loving city that’s always down to party! Many Israelis will go out, socialize, and toast the New Year with their loved ones (likely with some white wine!).
Immigrants to Israel from cultures where New Year’s observance is widespread often keep their customs in their new home. Russian Israelis are particularly known for their Novy God (“New Year”) celebrations – characterized by large family meals, traditional foods, presents, decorated trees, and merrymaking.
This year, New Year’s Eve occurs on Israel’s official weekly day of rest, Saturday (the Jewish sabbath or shabbat), while New Year’s Day, Sunday, will be a work day for most. Some Israelis will likely incorporate celebrating the New Year into their shabbat festivities, as they will already be gathering with their family or friends for big meals with lots of wine.
How you can support Israel in the New Year
Israel needs your support as always! Some of the best ways that you can express your love for the Jewish state include: