New (and old) Ways to Celebrate the New Year

As the Jewish month of Elul comes to a close, Rosh Hashanah and the year 5774 are just around the corner.  Soon, the sounds of the shofar will fill our ears, and delicious apples and honey will fill our stomachs.


Many choose to observe Rosh Hashanah in a traditional way by attending services.  We’ve compiled a number of resources to help you find the best service to fit your needs.  We are very fortunate to live in the Bay Area, where choices for Jewish observance vary from Orthodox to traditional to alternative.

Taglit-Birthright Israel has created an interactive map to make it easy for you to find local High Holiday experiences.  Simply enter your location, and it will populate a map with events in your area.

Each year, the j. Weekly also puts together a resource guide to Jewish life in the Bay Area.  This guide has a more comprehensive list of local congregations that you can peruse to locate High Holiday services.

A third resource is our own Community Calendar.  Start in our Holidays section for Rosh Hashanah-specific celebrations from a number of different organizations, and continue to explore for other noteworthy community events.


Food on Rosh Hashanah, like for many Jewish holidays, is an integral part of our celebration.  Traditionally, we eat apples and honey, which symbolize a sweet New Year, as well as a round challah to symbolize the continuation, or circle, of life.  Why not test out one of these inventive recipes on your holiday table this year?

Apple and Honey Challah: Why make multiple dishes when you can toss your whole holiday into one?  A smorgasbord of Jewish symbolism, this challah’s got you covered!      




For a fresh take on apples, honey, and round things, try these Apple, Goat Cheese, and Honey Tartlets (or, for the goat-averse, Puff Pastry Apple Tarts Glazed with Honey).




An alternate name in the Torah for Rosh Hashanah is Yom Teruah, or “day of blowing [the shofar].”  The shofar, typically a ram’s horn, is blown 100 times.  Start prepping now, and master the art of blowing the shofar just in time for the New Year:

Finally, wish your friends and family a sweet New Year with these Holiday e-Cards from the Jewish Federations of North America.


August 22, 2013


Nora Smith