The Jewish religion has a number of interesting holidays that are fun to share. Some are historical and some are religious, but they’re all interesting. There are a number of fun traditions that can create significant learning opportunities for students to widen their knowledge of the world and promote equality. Here are a few great projects that will offer terrific exposure to this joyous time of year for everyone.
Giving to charity and helping those less fortunate is one of the main tenets of Judaism, and though it is stressed throughout the course of the year, the message is always strongest during the holidays. Children can be encouraged to choose a charity that is meaningful and work towards fundraising goals.
It is a Jewish tradition to pass around a coin box for contributions, and that box is usually decorated in a way that is symbolic and evocative. Children can design their own tzedakah boxes and go on collection drives to raise funds for the charity of their choice.
Challah is a traditional egg-based bread that is braided and eaten on every Sabbath, but on the holiest holidays it is formed into a special round shape. Making challah with your class is easy and fun and it is delicious too!
Apples and Honey
One of the most memorable traditions of the Jewish New Year is the dipping of apples into honey as a symbol of the Jewish people’s hope for a sweet New Year. Many people make decorative plates to pass around the table, designed to evoke specific family memories of happy times. Personalized apple and honey plates can be made from children’s drawings and ordered online.
A commemorative apple and honey plate is a wonderful way to bring home the lesson of a sweet New Year, and introduce new and personal traditions into families regardless of their religion.
Learning about other cultural traditions is a wonderful way to expose children to diverse cultures and religions. Choosing a celebratory holiday like Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful introduction to the Jewish culture for children who have not been previously exposed to it, while at the same time promoting understanding, equality, and strengthening relationships with other class members of different cultural backgrounds. Personalized items and experiences like the plates, boxes, and baking activities we mentioned are a great way of exploring Rash Hashanah.
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