The month of Sivan heralds what should be considered the most important holiday - Shavuot. But not too many people know about or celebrate this holiday compared to the others. It should be the most important festival because it commemorates the revelation of the 10 Commandments and the Torah at Mt. Sinai over 3,000 years. Since everything we do and believe as Jews is based on the Torah one would imagine that this holiday is significant.
But, it is only a 2 day festival - one day in Israel - and it comes 7 weeks after Passover and in the midst of the graduation and wedding season. Somehow it always seems to get lost in the shuffle. Yet, because of the connection with the Torah and, therefore, Jewish education it has become customary in American Reform and Conservative congregations to link Religious School graduation (or Confirmation) to the holiday. Also, around the Jewish world it is customary to stay up all night the first night of the holiday to study in preparation for reliving God's revelation of Torah.
In honor of that theme of education I've highlighted three educational organizations as the charities of the month. Our local Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning promotes Jewish education in the greater Washington area. My alma mater - The Jewish Theological Seminary of America - trains rabbis, cantors, and educators, and grants advanced graduate degrees. And of course my shul - Shaare Tefila Congregation - has as its mission to promote activities that help Jews grow spiritually and educationally.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and enriching Shavuot holiday - May 28-30!