1 - 20 of 60

  • afikomen

    n. A piece of matzah from the Pesach seder traditionally hidden by adults, found by the children (or vice versa), and then ransomed for gifts after the meal.

  • Ashkenazi

    n. (In plural) "[t]he name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France [and their descendants]...The Ashkenazim migrated to Central and Eastern Europe during times of oppression" (JPS).

  • Ashkenazic

    adj. Adjectival form for 'Ashkenazim', "The name given to the group of Jews who were originally from Germany and France, and their descendants" (JPS).

  • bar mitzvah

    n. Jewish coming-of-age ceremony/celebration for a 13-year-old boy; the boy who has come of age.

  • bat mitzvah

    n. In gender egalitarian communities, the ceremony of a 13- (or 12-) year-old girl's first calling up to the Torah, symbolizing her adulthood in Jewish life. can also refer to the girl herself. In Orthodox communities, refers to celebration of girl turning 12. "Celebration of a Jewish girl's coming of age; a girl who has reached that age." (Glinert)

  • bris

    n. Circumcision ceremony; the celebration surrounding it. Lit. covenant.

  • Chabad

    n. An outreach-oriented branch of Hasidic Judaism that follows the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Chabad has thousands of branches around the world, including at many college campuses.

  • Chabad house

    n. A synagogue/residence/outreach center operated by Chabad-Lubabvitch, usually run by a Rabbi and wife, and often their children.

  • challah

    n. "The braided egg bread that traditionally is eaten on almost every Jewish holiday and [the Sabbath]" (JPS).

  • charoset

    n. Sweet, mushy mixture that represents mortar at the Passover seder.

  • chuppah

    n. "The Jewish wedding canopy; that is, the cloth under which the Jewish wedding ceremony is conducted." (JPS)

  • chutzpah

    n. Guts (positive).

  • Cohen

    n. "A male descendent of the family of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Aaron and his descendants were consecrated to the service of God... in the Tabernacle... in the desert and later the Holy Temple" (Steinmetz). Often poorly translated as "priest," though the term "Levite" or "Aaronite" is more accurate, especially due to Christian usage (Steinmetz).

  • goy

    n. A nation, but not the Jewish nation.

  • Hanukkah

    n. The winter-time festival that commemorates the rededication of the Temple after the Maccabean revolt in the second century B.C.E. (lit. "dedication")

  • Haskalah

    n. 19th century Jewish Enlightenment, in which modern philosophy and literature entered Jewish consciousness

  • Hillel

    n. An organization for Jewish college life, especially in North America.

  • Kabbalah

    n. A Jewish mystical work, sometimes used as a catch-all term for Jewish mysticism. "The Jewish mystical tradition." (JPS)

  • klezmer

    "Eastern European style of instrumental music" (JPS)

  • kosher

    "acceptable according to Jewish [ritual] law" (JPS); "trustworthy, reliable" (Rosten); acceptable according to dietary laws