Celebrate Rosh Hashanah

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Deborah HeiligmanCelebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with
Honey, Prayers and the Shofar

Holidays Around the World Series
National Geographic
Ages 5-9
978-1426300769 Hardcover

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Recognized as a 2008 Notable Book for Younger Readers by the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries.

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur examines how these Jewish High Holy Days are celebrated worldwide. Rosh Hashanah, known as the Jewish New Year, is a time for reflection and resolution. On Yom Kippur, also called the Day of Atonement, Jews fast, pray, and ask God’s forgiveness for their sins. Readers are introduced to the sounding of the shofar, the holidays’ greeting cards, prayers, and special foods. Rabbi Shira Stern’s informative note puts the High Holy Days into wider historical and cultural context for parents and teachers.

“Heiligman’s lively writing style, coupled with arresting full-color photos, makes this an excellent addition to National Geographic’s Holidays Around the World series. The reader enjoys learning how people in the United States and in diverse locations all over the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For example, photos show a boy and his mother in Israel making a round challah for Rosh Hashanah, a congregation in Zimbabwe singing and dancing at a Rosh Hashanah service, thousands of Jews attending a tashlikh service around a lake in the Ukraine to cast away their sins, a little girl practicing blowing the shofar in Los Angeles, and a woman rabbi and cantor dressed in white, wearing tennis shoes, for Yom Kippur in Seattle. Accompanying the photos are clear explanations for all of these customs. Concepts are in large bold print; text in smaller print explains them.”—Newsletter of the Association of Jewish Libraries

“This beautiful explanation of the Jewish High Holy Days depicts the celebration and observance from a global perspective in a colorful, clean photographic design. Jews around the world incorporate the universal symbols of honey, prayers and the Shofar with similar significance…The text design is especially well thought-out as key sentences are highlighted in large print that reads as one simple text for preschoolers, while a slightly longer explanation is presented in a smaller font for older children. An appendix of basics regarding the holidays offers facts, explanations of the Torah and the Shofar, the important “Al Het” prayer said as a community and an easy-to-follow recipe for the traditional honey cake. Glossary, bibliography, websites and a map noting the sites of each photograph complete this handsome Holidays Around the World edition.”—Kirkus Reviews

The author stresses the sweetness of celebrating these Holy Days, by focusing on honey, prayers, and the shofar. A delicious honey cake recipe provided by the books consultant, Rabbi Shira Stern, has easy-to-follow steps, and cautions that the young reader will need an adult to help. Explanations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur further explore the holidays importance and meaning. Also included are a world map showing where the photos were taken, a brief glossary, and list of books and websites. As reading the books in this series helps educate children and adults about others religions, one cannot help feeling that this could perhaps even help contribute to world peace. Highly recommended for synagogue, school and public library collections. Grades 14. – Andrea Davidson, The Temple-Tifereth Israel, Beachwood, OH