Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.

On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the creation of the world and God’s kingship over it. While Rosh Hashanah is a joyful day with special foods, celebrations and the sounding of the shofar, it is also a serious, somber day where we reflect on our behavior and what we would like to change from the past year. Think New Year’s resolutions, but on a more spiritual level. Rosh Hashanah is a time of judgment, and it begins the Ten Days of Repentance, leading up to Yom Kippur.

Around Rosh Hashanah, people greet each other with “Shana tova,” meaning “have a good year.” Some say “L’shana tova umetukah,” which means “for a good and sweet year.” Rosh Hashanah always takes place in the fall. During this time, many people like to go to services in a synagogue or celebrate at home or with loved ones.



The shofar is a hollowed out ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet in the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah and during services on Rosh Hashanah. It is meant to act like our “alarm clock,” reminding us that the period of judgment is upon us, and it is time to reflect on our behavior.


Tashlich, which translates to “casting off,” is a ceremony performed on Rosh Hashanah or in the week that follows. During this ceremony, Jews symbolically cast off the sins of the previous year by tossing pebbles or bread crumbs into flowing water.



Apples dipped in honey serves as a symbol that we should have a sweet new year ahead. Some people eat honey on challah or other sweet dishes. NEW FRUIT Some eat a new fruit on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize that we hope to have new experiences in the year ahead.


A pomegranate is filled with countless seeds, just as we hope our good deeds (or mitzvot) will be innumerable in the year ahead.



  • Apple Printing Cards Make a card for someone by cutting an apple in half, dipping it in paint and using it as a stamp.
  • New Year’s Resolutions Make a poster with your family where everyone will write down a couple things they’d like to change in the year ahead.
  • Apples and Honey Taste Test Go to the grocery store as a family to pick out several types of apples and honey. Enjoy them together and vote on your favourite varieties.
  • Tashlich Take your family to a body of water for your own tashlich ceremony. Talk about what you want to let go of from the past year and how you want to grow in the year ahead.