Jewish holidays (and days) begin at sundown and continue through the following evening. This year Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown of Friday, September 18 and is celebrated for two "days" ending in the evening on Sunday, September 20. Many people only celebrate Rosh Hashanah for one Jewish day.
The Jewish new year kicks off on Rosh Hashanah when people wish each other l’shana tova – a sweet new year! Together, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur make up the Jewish High Holidays with the ten days in between known as the “days of awe.”
Want to learn more about Rosh Hashanah? Check these answers to frequently asked questions.
Want a quick primer on Rosh Hashanah traditions and customs? Watch this video!
Use the buttons below to everything you need to learn more and celebrate Rosh Hashanah with your kids this year.
Rosh Hashanah with Kids Under Age 5
For small children and toddlers, Rosh Hashanah is all about the sensory experiences—the taste of warm challah, the sticky feeling of honey from dipping apples, and the sound of the shofar. Explore the holiday with your littlest kids by reading stories like Rosh Hashanah is Coming and Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah.
You can also:
Sing a fun song about apples and honey and try dipping apples in honey.
Learn the words to a Rosh Hashanah song perfect for preschoolers! via BimBam
Make homemade Rosh Hashanah cards by doing some apple printing.
Play with your very own honey-scented playdough to take in the smells of the holiday.
Bake some special apple-cookie pops. Your children can help with dumping the ingredients into the mixing bowl as well as rolling and flattening the pops. Another great treat for kids this age? Apple pasta (really just thinly sliced apples with raisins and honey).
Find more kid-friendly Rosh Hashanah recipes.
Rosh Hashanah with Kids Ages 5+
As kids get older it’s easier to explore concepts like resolving to do better, saying sorry and asking for forgiveness. You can even involve the kids in a modified version of the tashlich ceremony. Great books for this age group include Apple Days: A Rosh Hashanah Story and New Year at the Pier.
You can also:
Watch a special Shaboom! Rosh Hashanah video:
How do you celebrate the birthday of the world? The Sparks and Plony family will show you how.
What does it mean to say “sorry” and really mean it? Why is it important to apologize and own mistakes. Find out with the Sparks and the Plony family.
Braid a round challah together.
Blow the shofar—and if you don’t have one, make your own using the tutorials in our Jewish fall activities for kids post.
Set goals for the coming year together.
Make harvest veggie roll-ups for lunch and sample new, symbolic, foods together. Find more kid-friendly Rosh Hashanah recipes.
Rosh Hashanah with Tweens
Once kids reach upper elementary and middle school, they’re well prepped to explore the deeper meanings behind the customs and traditions associated with the high holidays. Kids are also in a place where they can do some cooking on their own (or with minimal supervision), so you can hand over the apples and honey pops or the special honey drumsticks for new year’s dinner.
PJ Our Way members from Orlando make apple pops together for a Rosh Hashanah celebration.
Since kids in this age group already know the customs and traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah, focus on books that build on themes inherent in the High Holidays and Days of Awe: forgiveness, relationship building and repairing, and bettering one’s self. Here are some great titles to check out:
This is just the tip of the bumblebee cake! If you’d like more information about celebrating Rosh Hashanah with kids, visit the PJ Library Rosh Hashanah Hub.
August 6, 2020