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Rosh Hashanah

Pick your apples and collect your honey—Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner!

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, marks a time for celebration of a year well lived and of excitement for the year yet to come. Together, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur make up the Jewish High Holidays, with the ten days in between known as the “Days of Awe.” The Days of Awe challenge us to reflect on the past year, to repair and strengthen relationships, to let go of grudges, and to think deeply about how we can better ourselves for the coming year.

 

The holiday is associated with apples and honey—symbolizing a sweet new year—as well as with pomegranates and challah (braided bread). For young children, Rosh Hashanah is all about the sensory experience: the taste of warm challah, the sticky feeling of honey, and the sound of the shofar (a ram’s-horn trumpet). If you’re looking for a book to read with your littlest ones, Wellan’s Librarian, Naomi, recommends Rosh Hashanah is Coming by Tracy Newman.

 

Primary and Lower Elementary students are eager to participate in holiday traditions, and they’re often ready to explore concepts like forgiveness and meaningful self-betterment. Apples and Honey by Jonny Zucker, and Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah by Sylvia A. Rousse offer great starting places for discussion. Take a moment to set goals for the coming year with your children, or try braiding a challah together!

 

By the time students reach Upper Elementary and Voyager, they’re well equipped to engage with the deeper meanings behind the High Holidays. Naomi recommends Once Upon an Apple Cake by Elana Rubenstein and The Book of Jewish Holidays by Ruth Kozodov for students interested in exploring the holiday’s history and the significance of its customs and traditions. UE and Voyager students are prepared to do a bit of cooking on their own (or with a bit of supervision), too! Invite your kids to discuss your family’s traditions, allow them to lead discussions focused on forgiveness, relationship building, and resolutions for the new year, and don’t be afraid to hand over the apples and honey pops for new year’s dinner!

 

Shanah Tovah!

Book Recommendations
from Wellan's Library

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Rosh Hashanah is Coming
by Tracy Newman

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Once Upon an Apple Cake
by Elana Rubenstein

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Apples and Honey: A Rosh Hashanah Story
by Jonny Zucker

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The Book of Jewish Holidays
by Ruth Kozodov

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Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah
by Sylvia A

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Naomi Shmueli

School Librarian

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