7 Ideas for Celebrating Rosh Hashanah This Year
Whether you're able to gather with family this year or not, ring in the Jewish New Year in a memorable way with one of these celebrations.
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Have a Rosh Hashanah Zoom with Friends and Family
Share the holiday with distanced family and friends by logging onto the same livestream while you Zoom. (Alternatively, you can Zoom with family and friends while someone leads a home service.) Create the right mood: use pictures of family and Jewish memorabilia as the background in your space; cover up electronics or other items that might distract. Get dressed up in clothes that evoke festivity or have special meaning.
Gather for a Symbolic Rosh Hashanah Feast
If you’re skipping the service but still want to commemorate the holiday, invite friends and family over for a meal—either around a table or at a socially distanced picnic. Or, eat together on a Zoom call.
Choose symbolic foods like apples and honey (which are supposed to lead to a sweet year). Or take advantage of the sourdough craze—making a loaf will mean you are “rolling in dough” next year. Actress Mayam Bialik and her young sons, along with members of The Maccabeats, created this cute video which explains the Rosh Hashanah culinary traditions.
Start the meal with a Kiddush over wine or grape juice, and don’t forget to eat round challah instead of braided loaves: this symbolizes the circle of life and the beginning of the Jewish year. Finally, toast to the new year, a time when hopefully all worldly evil will be banished—especially plagues.
Stream Rosh Hashanah Service
This 2,600-member congregation is one of the largest synagogues in North America. The synagogue streams its High Holidays services free on its website and on its Facebook page.
Congregation Beth Adam (Humanistic)
Congregation Beth Adam is in Cincinnati, Ohio, and approaches Judaism from a Humanistic perspective. Led by Rabbi Robert B. Barr, founding rabbi.
Park Avenue Synagogue (Conservative)
This 1,650-family Manhattan congregation’s vision includes practicing “a Judaism filled with love, literacy, reverence, compassion, and joy” and striving “to make our ancient tradition compelling and welcoming to contemporary Jewry and to serve as a light unto our fellow Jews and the nations.” Led by Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove.
Founded in 1845, Emanu-El was New York City’s first Reform congregation. Led by Rabbi Joshua Davidson.
This Cincinnati synagogue says it welcomes “all people: seekers, interfaith families, and those in search of a spiritual home.”