This year (5777 on the Jewish calendar and 2016-17 on the Gregorian calendar) Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Sunday, October 2nd.
Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of the Jewish month of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. The celebration of this holiday is marked with both joy and solemnity, as it is the day on which the whole world is judged for the coming year. Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the world, as it was on this day that God created man on the 6th day of creation.
We have some fun recources to help you and your jkids celebrate the Jewish New Year, including:
- Print, color and mail Rosh Hashanah postcards to your family and friends!
- Download and print our Rosh Hashanah info sheet
- Rosh Hashanah Hannah and her friends on Shalom Sesame rock out the New Year on this video clip.
- G-dcast presents Shofar Callin': The Rosh Hashanah Song
- PJ Library article about Nurturing a Child's Artistic Spirits During Rosh Hashanah
- Download printable "Start Your Year Off Jewishly"
- Visit our Rosh Hashanah Pinterest page
- Free, downloadable social stories and more resources for children with special needs
- Helpful tips for High Holiday Services and children with special needs
- Print blessings for apples and honey
- High Holiday Inventory
- High Holiday Bingo!
BimBam teaches us the blessings over the apples:
Check out our Rosh Hashanah playlist!
Starting Your New Year Jewishly ~ emptying our pockets
by Rabbi Marc Margolius
To learn the spiritual meaning of the fall holy days, just reach into your pockets and see what’s there. I learned this simple truth several years ago from Rabbi Lawrence Kushner of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts, one Shabbat eve shortly before Rosh Hashanah. Rabbi Kushner invited us to feel around in our pockets and identify what we found. Some people reported finding keys, coins, or gum. Some, though, found nothing—they claimed their pockets were bare. But the truth is, said Rabbi Kushner, no one’s pockets are ever truly empty. If you dig deep enough, even if the pants are new, there’s always something hidden in their pockets—fuzzy stuff, lint—in short, that which we most appropriately describe as schmutz.
by Rabbi Toba Spitzer
In Jewish tradition, there is a special time of year when we check in on how we’re doing in our lives—our spiritual lives and our lives with other people. That time is the month of Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. During Elul we are preparing for the work of teshuvah. Teshuvah means “return.” The assumption is that if all things were as they should be, we would all be loving, open, aware and connected people. But the fact is it’s pretty easy to get off track—and so “returning” takes some work. This work is something that parents and kids can help each other with. This exercise is a guide to your own teshuvah preparation. There are seven questions, followed by suggestions for practice. Your family may choose to do all or part of the inventory each evening in the month of Elul.