Experiencing Yom Kippur in Israel

October 10th 2011

Israel’s Day of Atonement is one of its most widely observed holidays. If you happen to be in Israel during that time, you will notice that absolutely everything, including television programming and non-essential traffic is completely shut down. For many Jews, celebrating Yom Kippur in Israel is a life-long dream. If you book one of our Israel tours for September 2012, you can participate as well.

In 2012, Yom Kippur falls on September 26, and because it is such a popular holiday, try to plan and book your travel arrangements as far in advance as possible. Even though it is celebrated countrywide, you might enjoy Yom Kippur more in a traditional Jewish city like Jerusalem, instead of a more secular area like Tel Aviv.

If you plan to pray in a synagogue on Yom Kippur, determine in advance which one you want to visit. Because no public transportation will be available on that day, choose one that is within walking distance of your hotel. Most synagogues will be very crowded, but will also be very welcoming of visitors.

Even though a lot of businesses are closed, you can take advantage of the quieter time by using it to walk the streets and explore neighborhoods you might not have time to visit otherwise. Even though it’s very different from the typical tourist experience, celebrating Yom Kippur in Israel will be a meaningful and memorable experience.