#10 Holiday Explorer: Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish New Year

#10 Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish New Year

In this lesson you will learn about the start of the Jewish Year – Rosh Hashanah. You will also learn why Jewish people celebrate this holiday, why it’s called Rosh Hashanah and  some of the traditions take place during Rosh Hashanah. Jews say, “L’shanah Tova, Happy New Year!”

Apple-Honey-Challah-1-640x480READ THIS:  Rosh Hashanah, is observed on the first day of the month of Tishrei. Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year.  The Jewish New Year is a time to reflect on the past year and plan the changes to be made in the New Year. The Torah refers to Rosh Hashana as Yom Ha-Zikkaron(the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (a day of shofar blowing).

Useful Vocabulary:
L’Shanah Tovah – To a Good New Year
Tishre – The seventh month of the Jewish calendar in which Rosh Hashanah is observed
Shofar – the horn of a ram used during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
Teshuvah – the act of saying sorry for the things you didn’t mark on during the year.
Tashlich – A ceremony where Jewish people cast off the things that they did that didn’t hit the mark during the past year

#1. WATCH – A Brief History of Rosh Hashanah
(Ages 5-10)

(Ages 11+)


Click on the image to watch the video



RH Shofar Robb

The Shofar is a very important part of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. It is used to help Jews remember that the High Holy Days have started. The shofar is also like a party noise blower that is blown when we welcome in a new Jewish year. In the video below all of the sounds of the shofar are made. Listen closely and see if you can figure out which one is which




Shevarim – three short broken notes
Teruah – nine short broken notes making a wavering sound
Tekiah – one deep note, which ends abruptly
Tekiah Gedolah – the final sound made by the shofar which is one long tekiah


Here is a story from the Torah about Abraham and Isaac, which is read on Rosh Hashanah every year.


Hebrew Text ImageRosh Hashanah in the Bible, Leviticus 23:23-28

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying “Speak to the Israelite people thus: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts. You shall not work at your occupations; and you shall bring an offering by fire to the Lord.”

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying “Mark the tenth day of this seventh month as the Day of Atonement. It shall be a sacred occasion for you: you hall practice self-denial, and you shall do no work throughout the day. For it is the Day of Atonement, on which expiation is made on your behalf before the Lord.


1. How many names for Rosh Hashanah can you remember?
2. What are some of the foods are eaten on Rosh Hashanah to have a sweet taste for the new year?
3. Why is it important for Jewish people to use this time of year to look back and make teshuvah for the mistakes they made during the year?
4. What are the sounds made by the shofar and when are they heard?
5. What are some traditions you and your family will be celebrating this year for Rosh Hashanah? If you don’t know this is a great time to ask your parents!
6. How did the stories from the Torah tell the Jewish people to celebrate Rosh Hashanah?
7. Vocabulary Matching Game! Try to Match all of the Vocabulary words to their definitions:

1. Rosh Hashanah A. The horn of a ram used during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur
2. Shofar B. “To a Good and Sweet New Year”
3. Round Challah C. The act of saying you’re sorry for the times you missed the mark during the year.
4. Apples and Honey D. The Head of the Year
5. L’Shanah Tovah U’metukah E. A ceremony where we cast off the things that we did that didn’t hit the mark during the past year
6. Tishre F. Bread that is in the shape of a circle to represent the circle of creation and sometimes has raisins for added sweetness
7. Teshuvah G. Things we eat to taste the sweetness of a new year
8. Taschlich H. The seventh month of the Jewish Calendar in which we celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Correct Answers for Matching Game:
1-D, 2-A, 3-F, 4-G, 5-B, 6-H, 7-C, 8E

Need some help?

We’re here for you. At any time, if you have any questions, please contact one of our teachers so we can help you.

Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)!

You can reach us at (646)360-0689 or connect@tamidnyc.org