The High Holy Days season is a time filled with family, friends, and celebration. We have partnered with PJ Library Bay Area to bring you this high holidays guide of activities, programs, and kid-friendly resources.
This year, Rosh Hashanah begins on the evening of Sunday, September 25, and ends on the evening of Tuesday, September 27. Yom Kippur begins Tuesday, October 4, and ends Wednesday, October 5.
Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year)! The Jewish new year of 5782 kicks off on Rosh Hashanah when people wish each other Shanah Tovah – a sweet new year! Together, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur make up the Jewish High Holidays with the ten days in between known as the “days of awe.”
Rosh Hashanah activities for East Bay kids and families
Community Rosh Hashanah events
Please plan ahead, some of the in-person children’s activities require tickets or RSVP. Watch this space.No Events
At-home Rosh Hashanah activities
Eat sweet foods to ring in a sweet new year:
- Simple version, dip apples in honey. PJ Library has a few other takes on this classic Rosh Hashanah snack.
- Level up with an apple cake you can make together. This kid-friendly recipe won’t fail you.
- Eat round challah bread to symbolize the cycle of the years. Grand Bakery in Oakland, Afikomen in Elmwood, and Saul’s Delicatessen in Berkeley are ready with circular challah for your Rosh Hashanah needs.
Tip: For a full family Rosh Hashanah dinner, Market Hall has online ordering and curbside pick-up.
Start this new year off with free monthly Jewish children’s books sent directly to your home from PJ Library Bay Area – Sign Up Today!
Yom Kippur activities for East Bay kids and families
The ten days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are called the Ten Days of Teshuvah (Ten Days of Returning) – turning away from our mistakes and returning to the “best self” we can be. We have a special opportunity to focus on our relationships, say we’re sorry for things we’ve done wrong, and discuss how to strengthen our connections to family, friends, and community.
- Adults traditionally do not eat on this day. They break their fast at the end with a celebratory meal. Instead of fasting, older kids might give something else up, such as treats or technology for the day.
- A short discussion about what makes a good apology is appropriate for younger children. Writing down past mistakes on magical disappearing paper and letting them wash away in a bowl of water is a favorite ritual.
- Doing good deeds and charitable acts is another Yom Kippur tradition. Making a donation to a food pantry in honor of the food not eaten that day is a popular gesture of atonement as well.
Visit PJ Library Bay Area’s Yom Kippur Resource Hub to learn more about the holiday and find kid-friendly activities for home.
Community Yom Kippur family events (more will be added throughout the season)
Tuesday, October 4, 20223:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Tawonga Early Kol Nidre Service @ Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland
Wednesday, October 5, 20229:00 am - 9:45 am: Yom Kippur Family Service @ JCC East Bay, Berkeley, Berkeley
10:15 am - 12:30 pm: Yom Kippur Children's Activity @ JCC East Bay, Berkeley, Berkeley
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Yom Kippur Youth Service @ Paramount Theatre, Oakland
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Children's High Holy Day Services - Yom Kippur @ Beth Chaim Congregation, Danville
We wish you and your family a healthy, happy New Year and a meaningful Yom Kippur.
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Thanks again to PJ Library Bay Area for supporting 510 Families. Images used with permission.
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