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Celebrating High Holy Days with Kids and Family: Fun and Meaningful Activities

Return to the InterfaithFamily Guide to the High Holy Days.

Fun and Meaningful Activities

To whatever degree your family is planning to attend synagogue services during the High Holy Days, there are some great non-synagogue-based activities for the High Holy Days. For example:

  • InterfaithFamily has great ideas for having fun with your family during the High Holy Days.
  • Earlier in this guide we talkFun and Meaningful Activities For the High Holidaysed about the fun ceremony called Tashlich—this can be especially fun for very young kids.
  • The Reform movement suggests some cool crafts.
  • has 10 activities for meaningful High Holy Days with kids, which you can find here.
  • Temple Emanu-El of New York City has a great one-page printable download of a “Mitzvah Checklist” that kids and parents can each use. A mitzvah is a good or righteous action, and their worksheet offers a fun family project that doesn’t take much time but is likely to spark good conversations about the meaning of these holidays.
  • offers ideas for all-ages fun activities, including apple-picking, honey tasting and an arts & crafts project.
Great Storybooks for Young Kids

Book coverFor younger kids, there are some wonderful children’s books that gently and beautifully teach some of the best values of the High Holy Days (like accepting that we all make mistakes, and learning about the healing power of forgiveness, etc.). Some of these books are very universal in their language choices, as well. We have our own recommendations here.

For another great list of children’s books about the themes and customs of the High Holy Days, try this list.

Another great resource for parents is PJ Library. You can check out their many recommended book and music titles here. PJ Library also offers a free book and CD subscription service for families with young kids. You sign up and then get a new book or CD each month, along with companion materials. If this sounds interesting, visit them at


The InterfaithFamily Guide to the High Holy Days is also available in PDF. 






Derived from the Greek word for "assembly," a Jewish house of prayer. Synagogue refers to both the room where prayer services are held and the building where it occurs. In Yiddish, "shul." Reform synagogues are often called "temple." Hebrew for "send off" or "cast away." On the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah it is customary to go to a body of moving water for a ceremony in which we cast off our sins by emptying crumbs from our pockets into the water. (See Micah 7:19.) Reform synagogues are often called "temple." "The Temple" refers to either the First Temple, built by King Solomon in 957 BCE in Jerusalem, or the Second Temple, which replaced the First Temple and stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem from 516 BCE to 70 CE.

InterfaithFamily is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our new InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative providing coordinated comprehensive offerings in local communities.

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