Holiday Programs and Supplies

The Aleph Institute is dedicated to ensuring that every incarcerated Jewish man and woman has the chance to experience the holiday spirit and celebrate with dignity and joy.  By providing religious materials and sending volunteers to facilitate holiday celebrations, Aleph helps bring a sense of belonging, tradition, and joy to those behind bars.

For each holiday on the Jewish calendar, Aleph sends volunteers to facilities nationwide and distributes thousands of supplies to ensure that every individual behind bars can fully participate in the celebrations. Each holiday need is met with care and efficiency.

  • During the High Holidays, Aleph sends groups of rabbis and volunteers to prisons across the country to blow the shofar, lead holiday prayer services, and cultivate an atmosphere of community and connection. We also ship shofars, machzorim, lulavim and esrogim, and sukkahs to individuals and facilities throughout the United States.
  • On Chanukah, menorahs, candles, dreidels, and chocolate are distributed to all facilities, and volunteers are sent to bring holiday joy.
  • On Purim, Aleph sends mishloach manot packages to prisons, and arranges celebrations to ensure that incarcerated individuals can hear the Megillah and participate in all the Purim mitzvot.
  • For Passover, we provide seder plates, matzah, and other holiday foods and necessities for incarcerated individuals.

Josh* shared with us his reflections from the High Holiday services held at his facility: [The Rabbis] tailored the services to the knowledge and comfort level of the inmates, taking time to explain the halachic basis for the prayers and practices, not merely reciting them. For myself and the others, who are separated from family during this significant time, their visit gave us the opportunity to feel a semblance of normalcy and remind us that even in the worst of places we are not forgotten.”