High Holy Days

Little girl blowing shofar

The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, and end ten days later with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The new year is a joyous time filled with family, friends, and food, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on our actions of the past year, and to consider ways to improve in the next. During the ten-day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur it is traditional to apologise to people we may have hurt, and to forgive those who have hurt us. Jews the world over go to synagogue to hear the shofar (ram’s horn), whose sharp calls are meant to awaken us and remind us to pay attention to our behaviour and actions.

Scroll down to learn more in the sections below:

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, an autumn holiday that calls for both rejoicing and serious introspection. Very small children will likely focus on the many sensory experiences of the holiday—the blast of the shofar, the taste of the challah, and the sweetness of apples dipped in honey.

On Rosh Hashanah we wish family and friends, L’shana tova, a happy and sweet new year.

12 Fall Activities With a Jewish Twist
How to Braid a Round Challah for Rosh Hashanah via Creative Jewish Mom
Make Your Own Rosh Hashanah Cards
Explaining Tashlich to Kids
Singing & Dancing In the New Year

Yom Kippur

Little boy saying sorry

Yom Kippur is known as the day of atonement and is considered by many to be the most important holiday in Judaism. What does such a momentous and solemn day mean for young children? How can we introduce and involve them in the holiday in an age appropriate manner? 

The High Holidays are a wonderful time to dig deep and explore the value of "I'm sorry," with young children. While children may be too young for some of the rituals associated with Yom Kippur, like fasting, kids of all ages understand the weight of "saying sorry" and "doing better."

4 Ways Kids Can Participate On Yom Kippur
Shaboom! Episode 10: Really, Really, Sorry
What is Teshuva?
The High Holidays, According to Daniel Tiger via kveller.com


Learn about saying sorry, slicha, with Shaboom!

Gali explains several Rosh Hashana customs as she gets ready for the New Year.

Sing a fun song with the Sparks from Shaboom!


Apples and honey cookie pops

Kid-Friendly Recipes for the High Holidays
6 Rosh Hashanah Recipes Kids Will Love

Printable Recipe Cards:
Apples and Honey Cookie Pops
Caramelized Onion and Butternut Squash Dip
Harvest Veggie Rollup
Sticky Honey Chicken Drumsticks

Kid-Friendly Rosh Hashanah Desserts via POPSUGAR Moms
22 Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes via Food Network

Book Lists

Little girl reading with grandparents

Looking for a good book to read to get ready for the High Holidays? Check out the following book lists:

Books That Help Children Understand Forgiveness
All PJ Library Selections About Rosh Hashanah
All PJ Library Selections About Yom Kippur


Get ready for Rosh Hashanah with our special PJ Library Spotify playlist:



Videos About Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur
Taking Kids to Services via MyJewishLearning.com
Rosh Hashanah Basics via kveller.com
Celebrating the High Holidays