The word “kippah” means cap in Hebrew. In Yiddish it is called a yarmulke or kappel. Jewish men wear a kippah during prayer, while studying religious texts, and also in the synagogue and cemetery. Other forms of head covering are also possible—in emergencies they can even wear a handkerchief that covers the back of their head or have another person hold his or her hand over their head.
Some Jews wear a kippah throughout the day to emphasize their Jewish identity or because it is a tradition in the branch of Judaism to which they belong. In Reform congregations kippot (the plural of kippah) are worn by both men and women—in contrast to practices in Orthodox Judaism.