Friday, September 19, 2008

Quick and Easy Tips for Surviving the High Holy Days

Let’s face it. The high holy days are not always as exciting for our kids as we wish they were. It’s a lot of sitting in synagogue and the rest of the traditions can seem a bit nebulous for children.
Here are some quick tips for making the holidays exciting and interesting.
  1. Buy something new to wear to synagogue. Do your kids need a new hairbow, socks, shoes, necklace, hat, kippah, etc? Probably not (mine don’t!). But the exciting air of “something new” can make it all feel more special. Plus it’s a chance to say shehecheyanu together.
  2. Start now collecting food for the High Holy Day food drive. Make it an event. Let your kids pick out one or two special items to bring. Make an event out of delivering them to the Temple.
  3. Try a new food. One idea: pick up one or two pomegranates and open them up with your kids. Pick or buy apples and make applesauce or baked apples.
  4. Too old for babysitting, seems too young for the regular services? Give the grownup services a try but know that you will have to help your kids along. Give them tasks during the service: English readers: count the number of A’s or the time the word “king” appears. Hebrew readers: count the number of aleph’s or other words in the prayers. How many people are wearing blue? How many people have blonde hair? Your kids can bring a sticker book or reading book – it’s okay!
  5. Make the Rosh Hashanah meal interesting – decorate the table with honey bears, flowers, apples, and have your kids make “Happy Birthday to the World” banners or placemats.
  6. Check out some library books about the holidays and read them before they start. This will give your kids something to look forward to.
  7. Come to Rabbi Steve’s Shofar Blowing Workshop. A great hands-on activity. Take a picture of your kid with their shofar.

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