Rebecca E. Margolis

A Tempest in Three Teapots: Yom Kippur Balls in London, New York, and Montreal

Undated advertisement in Yiddish for a Yom Kippur ball in New York City

At the end of the 19th century a nascent tradition emerged in London, England among recent Jewish immigrants as an anti-religious celebration of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism. The event quickly spread to North America where it was taken up by other Yiddish speaking anarchists and socialists as a way of expressing their collective power in a celebratory environment and encouraging others to turn against superstition and religion.