Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rosh Hashanah - The Jewish New Year

The New Year
by Isidor Kaufmann
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 28 this year. Rosh Hashanah is a time of judgment and remembrance, on which God reviews and judges a person's deeds in the past year. It is a time of prayer and penitence. All debts from the past year are supposed to be settled before Rosh Hashanah.

It marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and covers two of the 10 High Holy days that conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.


The food eaten and shared during Rosh Hashanah is very symbolic.

  • Apples dipped in honey - A wish for a sweet year.
  • Fish Heads – The desire to be on top, not the bottom of life in the New Year.
  • Pomegranates -  Health, happiness and plenty because of their numerous seeds.
  • Challah – Bread made with honey and raisins are another symbol of a sweet and happy year. Some decorate the Challah with birds, such as the dove symbolizing peace. It also symbolizes the cycle of the year.

The above information was gathered from the following websites:

I offer you some resources to help you celebrate the Jewish New Year.


Capturing the MoonA story from Chelm. One of my favorite stories to share.

Fetzer Institute - Nine Jewish folktales high lightening generosity of spirit.

Jewish Fairy Tales and  Legends by Gertrude Landa, 1919.  “This book is based on tales from the Talmud and Midrash. While some of the themes are familiar from fairy-tales and folklore from other traditions, the stories in this collection are infused with the perennial Jewish struggle for survival and dignity, as well as a large helping of gentle humor.”

The Golden Mountain by Meyer Levin, 1932. “This is a collection of tales of the Eastern European Hassidic Jews, centering on the holy men Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlaw.” - Since apples are an important symbol in the celebration this link will lead you to a previous blog post on apples with stories, lesson plans and more.


Annotated Bibliography of Jewish Story Collections -
An extensive PDF file of resources compiled by Penninah Schram.

The Best Kids Booksite
– Lots of wonderful book suggestions to share with your students and children.

Sources for Jewish Folktales and Stories
A PDF bibliography of books and videos for adults and children.


Perpetual Preschool - Easy crafts for preschool and up. – Six crafts from simple to a little more challenging.


Akhlah: The Jewish Children’s Learning Network  – Amazing website with information and resources on all of the Jewish holiday and High Holy Days. – Lesson plans, crafts and coloring pages.


Rosh Hashanah Songs

Karen Chace
© 2011
This blog post was painstakingly researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my newsletter via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

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