With the high holidays coming up you may be looking for a crafty or creative way to celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with your child. Let’s start with a little refresher on what these holidays are and what they mean (or an introduction for those of you who are new to Judaism).
The High Holidays
Rosh Hashanah translates to “head of the year” – or the first of the year (the ‘new year’ that is). The Jewish New Year is celebrated on what may seem like it falls on different dates each year to many of us. But, it’s always observed on the first and second days of the Jewish month of Tishrei. On the Gregorian (or Western) calendar, Tishrei falls during September and October. Life the January 1 New Year, Rosh Hashanah is also a time to reflect, make resolutions and make plans to change for the upcoming year.
What happens during Rosh Hashanah? If you’re Jewish, you and your family probably go to temple/synagogue. You’ll hear the shofar (a ram’s horn). At home you spend time together as a family and eat apples dipped in honey – to symbolize a sweet new year!
Yom Kippur falls 10 days later. The days between the two holidays are also called the Ten Days of Repentance. Known as the Day of Atonement, this high holiday gives you a chance to make amends. Like Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur also means spending time at temple/synagogue. During the 25 hours from sunset on the evening before through sunset on the evening of the holiday adults (and children over age 9) are supposed to fast.
This brings me to tzedakah – roughly translated to charity, justice or righteousness. It’s the Jewish practice of giving back. On Shabbat or holidays (such as Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) adults and kids alike can put money into their tzedakah boxes. Why? To collect, and later give, the money to charity or those less fortunate. Even though we’re making a ‘collection’ box, keep in mind that tzedakah doesn’t have to mean giving money. Along with the valuable lesson about giving to those who are in need, you can also teach your child to share in other ways. How? Help a friend out with a problem, sit next to the new (and clearly anxious) girl at school or share in some other way.
Now on to the art-making…
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- A coffee can with a plastic lid – We used a plastic can (because it was bigger), but you can also use a metal one.
- Kitchen foil
- Construction and tissue paper
- School glue
- A paintbrush
- Optional: Yarn
Here’s What to Do:
- Take the lid off of the coffee can. Turn the can on its side.
- Cut or tear the foil and papers into pieces. Your child can make fairly uniform geometric shapes or jagged collage pieces.
- Squeeze a dollop of glue onto the can.
- Spread the glue out with the paintbrush.
- Collage the foil and papers on.
6. Repeat until the entire can is covered.
7. Paint a wash of glue over the foil and paper collage.
8. Cut a hole in the center of the plastic lid. It should be large enough to fit money into.
Optional: Write letters with the yarn. Draw letters (your child can write Hebrew or English letters) with the glue. Cut and press the yarn on top of the glue..
Now all that’s left to do is decide which charity your family wants to donate to. Talk to your child about what she feels is important or who she feels needs help the most. Keep in mind, this is a child’s craft, and doesn’t need to look professionally-made. The key parts of this activity are getting creative, understanding the idea of giving back and celebrating the holiday!
This post is part of the Jewish High Holidays for Kids series. Be sure to visit our main page for great resources!
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