Shavuot & The Omer Period

Shavuot begins on the 6th day of the Jewish month of Sivan, seven weeks after Pesach (Passover)


Shavuot 2022 begins at sundown on Saturday, June 4, and ends Monday evening, June 6.


While Pesach marks the Jewish people’s beginnings as a people, Shavuot (literally meaning “weeks”), marks a culmination and a celebration. Shavuot is a celebration of the anniversary of the Jewish people's receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai. In ancient times, Shavuot also marked the first time in the year that bikkurim (first fruits) were brought to the Temple. In the period between Pesach and Shavuot, the Torah instructs to “count from the eve of the second day of Pesach, when an omer of grain is to be brought as an offering, seven complete weeks.” The practice of counting from the eve of the second day of Pesach continues to this day and referrers to the 49-day practice of Counting the Omer. From its origins as a time of anticipation towards the first agricultural offerings or the receiving of Torah, the Omer Period took on additional meaning and become a period of mourning. It is related in the Talmud that during this period 12,000 pairs of Rabbi Akiva’s students perished from a plague (Yevamot 62b). A communal time of mourning continues in some communities during the Omer period with some refraining from weddings, concerts, and even cutting one’s hair. This time of communal mourning takes place for 48 days, temporarily breaking on Lag B’omer (33rd Day of the Omer) to commemorate the day when the plague broke. 


Shavuot and closing of the Omer period this year mark a third moment in time beyond bikkurim and receiving Torah. Shavuot and the closing of the period of the Omer marks a return to community. The sadness and heaviness of the Omer mourning is lifted for joyous holiday meals and celebrations. In some communities, it is customary to gather together and stay up all night studying Torah and other Jewish texts the first night of Shavuot, in sessions called Tikkun Leil Shavuot. The book of Ruth is read during synagogue services because her conversion to and acceptance of Judaism is analogous to the Jewish people's accepting of the Torah (and also because the story takes place around the same time of year as Shavuot). Some religious school graduations or confirmations are also held on Shavuot. 


As we enter the 5780 (2020) period of the Omer, we are hoping that you will also be Counting on Community. While we may not be able to gather physically, the Jewish community is working together to provide a variety of learning and engagement opportunities to help us stay connected. We will work together to Curate a variety of national resources and learning opportunities, to Cultivate local learning opportunities, and create quality Content and Connection opportunities for this time. These opportunities will include Omer/Shavuot specific opportunities and well as community gathering and learning forums to make sure we are Counting on Community. 


Find Out More at MyJewishLearning

Shavuot & Omer Resources


Indianapolis's local synagogues can provide a wide variety of resources and support to help make your Shavuot meaningful. Below you will find contact info for synagogues as well as a curated list of resources to help you perpare for and celebrate Shavuot at home this year.

Chabad Center for Jewish Life: Orthodox | 2640 W. 96th St., Carmel | 317-251-5573 | |

Congregation Beth-El Zedeck: Reconstructionist/Conservative | 600 W. 70th St., Indianapolis | 317-253-3441 | |

Congregation Beth Shalom: Reform | 849 W. 96th St., Indianapolis | 317-306-5644 | |

Congregation B'nai Torah: Orthodox | 6510 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis | 317-253-5253 | |

Congregation Shaarey Tefilla: Conservative | 3085 W. 116th St., Carmel | 317-733-2169 | |

Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation: Sephardic Orthodox | 6939 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis | 317-251-6220 | |

Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation: Reform | 6501 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis | 317-255-6647 | |

Online Learning Opportunities:

From May 22-30, leading up to Shavuot, 10 Days of Gratitude will be updated daily and will feature a rotating menu of activities and prompts designed to help you and those around you share gratitude. You can do this on your own or with friends and family!

In the face of these realities, the Omer presents a rare opportunity to demarcate our time with Torah, ritual, and community. Join Hadar Faculty as we together study sections of Pirkei Avot and count the Omer each night from 8:45-9:00 pm

From, a smartphone application for Counting the Omer. Includes blessings, daily meditations and more. Not a Hebrew reader? The prayer text including the blessing are also available in English.

A variety of writings, poetry, and more from Ritualwell to enhance your Omer period and preparations for Shavuot. New for 2020 - weekly writing workshops enhance your writing and bring healing and comfort to your days. Mondays 2-3 pm EDT.

Online Holiday Resources:

A variety of print and digital resources including a Shavuot 'Zine and podcast-based all-night learning resources

Shavuot: A Guide for the Perplexed - resource collection from Tablet Magazine all about Shavuot at home

Recipes and family stories from the Jewish Food Society to spice up your Shavuot

The Orthodox Union has a variety of articles, recorded lessons, and more on the Counting of the Omer and Shavuot

Family and kid-friendly resources from PJ Library including playlists and activities to enrich your Shavuot

Our friends at Chai Mitzvah put together Shavuot study guide based on their Aseret 10 Commandments curriculum. A great resource to enhance your Tikkun Leil Shavuot.

Looking for sustainable Shavuot resources? Indulge in sustainable dairy delights and pick up some great resources from Hazon.

The URJ's resources include a variety of family friendly activities and resources to create your own at-home Tikkun Leil Shavuot.