Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – begins at sundown September 24, 2014. With themes of hope, renewal and a sweet new year, there are so many ways to get kids involved in the Rosh Hashanah holiday. There are lots of ways to get the kiddos involved in the holiday if you’re celebrating at home. But if you prefer to take the holiday outside your kitchen and living room, check out one of these Southern California Rosh Hashanah events.

child-blowing-shofarPhoto credit: Pretend City

Celebrate Around Town

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah — Shofar Factory
Sound the Shofar! It’s time to celebrate the festival of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, with a Shofar Factory. With unique media and innovative presentation methods, children will gain insight into the significance of the Shofar in the celebration of Rosh Hashanah. All senses will be engaged as children see and hear a demonstration of the traditional blasts, while learning to blow the Shofar. Kids will also learn and participate in the process involved in making a shofar from a kosher animal. Sept. 17, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., Pretend City. More info.

Rosh Hashanah Tot Service
Even the youngest of kiddos can observe Rosh Hashanah at this special service just for “tots.” Kids will listen to the rabbi read a story about the Jewish new year and participate in a short service and shofar sounding. Afterwards, join friends and family for apple juice and graham crackers. Sept. 25, 4 p.m., Congregation Beth Israel. More info.

Rosh Hashanah Family Service
Your family is invited to join Congregation Dor Hadash for a family-friendly service to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Kiddos ages 4 and older are welcome to stay after the Family Service for crafts, snacks, and discussions, while parents can join the main service. Kids will join their parents in the main service to hear the shofar! Sept. 25, 9:30 a.m., Congregation Dor Hadash. More info.

rosh hashanahPhoto credit: Leah Singer

Celebrate at Home
Here are a few tips for getting the kiddos involved to assure you’ll have a kid-friendly Jewish New Year.

  • Create New Years Cards — Encourage the kiddos to pick a friend or two and create a hand-made card with them in mind. It’s as easy as folding a sheet of white construction paper in half and then sticking on some apple stickers or draw apples on the cover. Then have your little on practice writing his name on the inside.
  • Apple and Honey Tasting — Apples and honey are hallmarks of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, signifying a sweet new year. Use the holiday and the symbols to teach kids about different varieties of apples and honey. Cut up red, green and yellow apples for an apple tasting and have the kiddos draw the color apple they like best.
  • Happy Birthday to the World — Since Rosh Hashanah does celebrate another year for the earth, why not create a simple birthday party for the world activity. Check out a Happy Birthday to the world book from the library and read it as a family. Then celebrate the earth by making cupcakes or a cake and singing Happy Birthday.

How do you celebrate Rosh Hashanah with your family?

– Leah R. Singer