Why We Chose This Book: New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story

New Year at the Pier book cover

Isn’t it nice to start the year with a clean slate? What better way to share the symbolic ritual of tashlich (from the Hebrew meaning “cast away” or “send off”) with kids than a sweet and inspiring story by April Halprin Wayland. Tashlich, which takes place on the first day of Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year), is a ritual during which participants toss pieces of bread (or other items such as small pebbles or leaves) into a body of water. The pieces of bread represent mistakes made during the previous year, and the idea of tossing them into the water is a way of apologizing and starting fresh.  

Set in a charming seaside village, whimsically illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch, the main character of New Year at the Pier, Izzy, both counts his mistakes and works up the courage to apologize for them. Like Izzy, kids and grownups alike sometimes struggle with taking responsibility for their errors. We invite you to follow along as Izzy reflects upon the past year, participates in a lovely Rosh Hashanah custom, and looks forward to a fresh start.

For more ideas on doing tashlich with your family, check our PJ Library’s High Holidays at Home guide.