Rosh Hashanah: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Rosh Hashanah is a new year's celebration found in the Jewish faith. In this lesson, learn when this holiday occurs, discover traditions that are practiced and foods that are eaten during Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah: the Jewish New Year

When you think of beginning a new year, you might immediately think of the parties, fireworks, and other celebrations held on the last day of December. However, people who practice the Jewish religion celebrate the new year during a different month and in a different way. The Jewish new year is called Rosh Hashanah (pronounced ro-shah-shaw-nuh). Let's find out how this new year celebration is similar to and different from the one you might be familiar with.

A Jewish synagogue, where ceremonies are held for Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is held during the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, which is most often in September. It lasts for two days, beginning at sundown on the first day. During this holiday, Jewish people gather at religious centers called synagogues (pronounced sin-uh-gogz), where they participate in special rituals and prayers. This is also a time to reflect on the year gone by and think about how the upcoming year can be better. That sounds similar to other new year's practices, doesn't it?


One ceremony held during Rosh Hashanah that doesn't happen in a synagogue is called Tashlikh (pronounced tahsh-leekh). This is a tradition where Jewish people gather at a river, stream, or fountain. They empty their pockets, which they've sometimes filled with pieces of bread prior to the ceremony. Whatever is in their pockets symbolizes their sins, which they cast into the water, and so begin the new year with a fresh start.

A Tashlikh ceremony during Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah

Foods and the Shofar

If you were to describe honey, what adjective would you use? Probably 'sweet' would be the word that first comes to mind. During Rosh Hashanah, Jewish people eat apples or bread dipped in honey to symbolize their hopes for sweetness in the new year. They also eat pomegranates because they have many seeds; the seeds symbolize the many commandments that Jewish people follow during the new year.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account