PJ Library High Holiday Events and Resources

High Holiday Banner JFGW PJ

Celebrate the Fall Holidays with PJ Library!

The Jewish High Holy Days begin with Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) on Friday, September 18 at sundown. For the following week, Jewish families around the world will gather to celebrate these occasions with services, symbolic foods, hearing the shofar and gathering with family and friends. These “Days of Awe” culminate with Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), but then celebrations continue with Sukkot (the feast of booths), Shemini Atzeret (featuring prayers for rain in Israel) and Simchat Torah (“rejoicing in the Torah”).

We hope that you will join one of these great community events from our partners that celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah. (Click the holiday names to skip to the program listing for that holiday.)

Recipes, crafts, books and other resources for the holidays.

Events and Ideas for PJ Grandparents

Military Mitzvah Card Project

PJ Library and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington partnered with local families to send 80 High Holiday cards to Jewish military stationed in Anchorage, Alaska!  Toda (“thank you”)!

 

 

girl blowing a shofar Yom Kippur (“Day of Atonement”)

Starts Sunday, September 27 (sundown)

According to Jewish tradition, fervent prayer and honest soul searching lead to repentance and forgiveness. With genuine reflection, we can get the gift of a clean slate for the new year. Therefore, Yom Kippur is a day of prayer and introspection, observed through fasting and attending services.

Yom Kippur Resources:

Find a Family-Friendly Holiday Service

I Am Sorry Day
Monday, September 28, 9:30 am

Teaching your little ones to say “I’m sorry” is a great way to begin explaining the holiday of Yom Kippur. Join the Bender JCC virtually with early childhood music specialist Lisa Baydush for a 45-minute family-filled morning where we will explain this holiday in a tot-friendly musical way.  (Best for ages 5 and under)

Sixth & Wee Service – Yom Kippur
Monday, September 28, 10:00 am

This is a family-friendly, musical, and just plain fun Sixth & I service for the preschool set (and their families). Services are supplemented by learning materials and activities to engage all members of your young family in a meaningful holiday experience.

Say Sorry Day
Monday, September 28, 11:00 am

We think 2020 should say sorry to us, but really, it’s never too late to say sorry. Join the Bender JCC online for a brand-new interactive musical program with Songleader Ben Pagliaro. His hip-hop style and upbeat rhythms will connect you and your kids together at home with the spirit gratitude and reflection. (Best for ages 6-10)

Yom Kippur Mindfulness Hike
Monday, September 28, 1:00-4:00 pm (staggered schedule)

Looking for a way to slow down, reflect, and connect to the themes of repentance, introspection, and new beginnings this season? Join the EDCJCC on Yom Kippur afternoon for a self-guided outdoor experience for families and individuals of all ages and observance levels.

For additional High Holiday services, please check out the Jconnect list of services open to families who aren’t members of a congregation.

Sukkot (“Feast of Booths”)

Starts Friday, October 2 (sundown) and ends at nightfall, Friday, October 9

The holiday of Sukkot is named after the booths or huts in which Jews are supposed to eat and sometimes sleep during this week-long festival. On each day of the holiday, members of the household recite a blessing over the lulav (a frond from a date palm tree, tied with branches of the willow and myrtle trees) and etrog (yellow citron).

Sukkot Resources:

Sukkot To Go
Pick up Friday, October 2

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Sukkot at home this year? The EDCJCC has you covered with another fun holiday bag! This bag will include a DIY mini sukkah project, PJ Library book, Sukkah decorations, and more.

Silly Sukkah Story Time & Show with Rachel Packer
Friday, October 2, 4:00 pm

Join Rachel Ornstein Packer for a silly and engaging performance of her PJ Library book, Sky-High Sukkah. Her love of teaching and performing are the perfect combination for her story time presentations which promise to be full of theatrics with healthy dose of shtick. If you can, bring challah and juice. We’ll celebrate Shabbat at the end of the show with the blessings! (Co-presented by the Bender JCC of Greater Washington, Pozez JCC, and Edlavitch DCJCC.)

Sukkah Village
Sunday and Monday, October 4 and 6
Bender JCC (6125 Montrose Road, Rockville)

Want to celebrate Sukkot in a Sukkah with just your family but don’t have one at home?  We’ve got you covered (literally)!  In order to maintain safe distance, the Bender JCC invites your family to spend an hour relaxing and bonding in one of our Sukkot, reserved just for you!

Sukkot Fun on ZOOM
Sunday, October 4, 11:00 am

Join Agudas Achim for some Sukkot fun on ZOOM! We’ll sit in our sukkahs (or backyards or back porches) and make and eat our own sukkahs. You’ll need graham crackers; skinny pretzel sticks; peanut butter (or other butter, Nutella, or marshmallow fluff); something green like parsley or celery leaves; and any other candy, fruit, or veggie for decorating. We’ll read some stories and talk about the mitzvah of inviting guests to our sukkah.

Taste the High Holidays: Apple Butter
Sunday, October 4, 6:00 pm

Celebrate the harvest season by learning to make your own apple butter! This is the perfect seasonal gift for friends and family, and all you need are apples, honey, and a few spices. (Best for kids 8 and up)

Sukkot GrandfriendSukkot “Grandfriend” Program
Tuesday, October 6, 4:00 pm

Gather in our virtual sukkah for a multi-generational event for kids and their “grandfriends.” We will bake muffins, hear a story, and celebrate together. (A collaboration of PJ Library, Bender JCC, Edlavitch DCJCC, Pozez JCC’s Growing Jewish Families and The Jewish Federation)

 

Taste the High Holidays: Pickling, Preserving, and Food Waste
Tuesday, October 6, 6:30 pm

Learn all about pickling and preserving for the Sukkot harvest festival! We’ll also talk about food waste in the DC area and what you can do to take action. (Best for kids 8 and up)

Shemini Atzeret (“Eighth Day of Assembly”)

Starts Friday, October 9 (sundown)

The distinguishing feature of Shemini Atzeret is the prayer for rain.  Rain and water are key to survival in the Middle East, from the days of the Israelites through today.  If you want to learn more about it, you can read Maya Prays for Rain by Susan Tarcov, the first PJ Library book about this little-known holiday!

Shemini Atzeret Resources:

Simchat Torah (“Rejoicing with the Torah”)

Starts Saturday, October 10 (sundown), ending at nightfall on Sunday, October 11

Simchat Torah is a celebration marking the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of a new cycle. It takes place in the synagogue, with reading and joyous dancing and singing.

Simchat Torah Resources:

 

apples and honey on a table Rosh Hashanah (“The Head of the Year”)

Starts Friday, September 18 (sundown) and ends at nightfall, Sunday, September 20

Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a ram’s horn blown like a trumpet), and eating apples or round raisin challah dipped in honey—both symbolizing sweetness and the circular nature of starting the year over.

Another aspect of the Days of Awe (Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur) is tashlich (“casting off”). Small pieces of bread are tossed into flowing water, such as a creek or river, symbolically casting off our sins. The common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is “L’Shana Tova,” which in Hebrew means, “(have) a good year.”

Rosh Hashanah Resources:

Find a Family-Friendly Holiday Service

Taste The High Holidays: Honey Cake Pops with Baked By Yael
Sunday, August 30, 4:00 pm

Have your cake and eat it, too, at a virtual Baked by Yael Rosh Hashanah cakepop class! Purchase the kit to make your own cake pops at home. An EDCJCC program.

High Holiday Baking with Paula Shoyer
Sunday, September 6, 11:00 am

Join J Pop-Ups, PJ Library, the Edlavitch DCJCC, and the Bender JCC for a morning of High Holiday baking with Paula Shoyer (The Kosher Baker). Paula will teach a step-by-step baking class over Zoom to get you ready for the High Holidays. Sign up by September 1st and receive a free holiday kit!

Day of Awesome Family Concert and Celebration
Sunday, September 13, 4:00 pm

Join the EDCJCC for a virtual High Holiday celebration! Rock out to the music of award-winning Jewish educator and performer Jason Mesches and his newest album, I Wanna Go To Mars, and participate in a community service project designed for all ages and benefiting local homeless youth. The concert is free, but you can also purchase a holiday celebration kit.

High Holiday How-To
Resources will be shared online for your convenience

Find content “on demand” throughout the week to get your family ready for the High Holidays. Discover videos with ideas to enhance the meaning and the joy for your family on this page and on our PJ Library Facebook page. These resources are the result of a collaboration of Olam Tikvah, the Edlavitch DCJCC, PJ Library, and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.

Making Apples and Honey Hand Pies Together!
Monday, September 14, 4:00 pm

Get into the Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) spirit with Pozez JCC’s Growing Jewish Families! Have fun making apple and honey hand pies, and then the fun will continue with story time while the hand pies are baking!

Storytime: Rosh Hashanah Edition
Tuesday, September 15, 3:00 pm

Join EDCJCC JFamily Ambassador Shoshana for our fun weekly virtual storytime. This week’s books will be all about the upcoming holiday Rosh Hashanah!

 

Rosh Hashanah Family Challah Bake
Thursday, September 17, 10:30 am

Roll up your sleeves and bake your very own Rosh Hashanah challahs with JFamily and Chabad Washington DC. The topping options are endless! (An EDCJCC program)

High Holiday Goody Bag
Wednesday, September 16-Thursday, September 17

Agudas Achim invites you to sign up to receive a FREE Goody Bag to help your family celebrate Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur this year. We’ve included a children’s book, family guides, craft project kits, recipes, make-your-own holiday cards, a kippah, apples and honey, a toy shofar, and more! Geared towards ages 2-5.

Making Apples and Honey Hand Pies Together!
Monday, September 14, 4:00 pm

Get into the Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) spirit with Growing Jewish Families! Have fun making apple and honey hand pies, and then the fun will continue with story time while the hand pies are baking!

High Holiday Goody Bag
Wednesday, September 16-Thursday, September 17

Agudas Achim invites you to sign up to receive a FREE Goody Bag to help your family celebrate Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur this year. We’ve included a children’s book, family guides, craft project kits, recipes, make-your-own holiday cards, a kippah, apples and honey, a toy shofar, and more! Geared towards ages 2-5.

Apples and Honeys
Saturday
, September 18, 9:30 am

Celebrate the Jewish New Year virtually with your little ones at a Bender JCC program that is designed just for them! Join early childhood music specialist Lisa Baydush for a 45-minute kid-friendly, music-filled Rosh Hashanah morning. The ticket price includes a holiday kit delivered to your home.

Sixth & Wee Service – Rosh Hashanah
Saturday, September 19, 10:00 am

This is a family-friendly, musical, and just plain fun Sixth & I service for the preschool set (and their families). Services are supplemented by learning materials and activities to engage all members of your young family in a meaningful holiday experience.

Apps – A Virtual Rosh Hashanah
Saturday, September 19, 11:00 am

Lean into technology with the Bender JCC’s NEW interactive musical program hosted by Songleader Ben Pagliaro. His hip-hop style and upbeat rhythms will connect you and your kids together at home with the renewed spirit of the New Year. (Best for ages 6-10)

Chag Family Jams
Saturday, September 19, and Sunday, September 20, 11:00 am

Join Agudas Achim for Chag Family Jams, a virtual High Holiday experience, led by Ariel Michelson, certified Rythm ‘n’ Ruach instructor. Bring your singing voices, apples and honey, and a shofar if you have one (real or pretend). All families welcome. We hope to see you there!

For additional High Holiday services, please check out the Jconnect list of services open to families who aren’t members of a congregation.

Family-Friendly Events Cosponsored by PJ Library in Greater Washington

Sukkot Fun on ZOOM

Sunday, October 4, 2020 | 11:00 am - 11:30 am

Wheelchair Accessible
apple butter

Taste The High Holidays: Apple Butter for Sukkot

Sunday, October 4, 2020 | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Wheelchair Accessible
Sukkot Grandfriend

Sukkot Grandfriend Event

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Singing in the Sukkah

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

pickling

Taste The High Holidays: Pickling and Food Waste

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 | 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm

Fall Course: The Real Story of Chanukah

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

Monday, October 19, 2020 | 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Wheelchair Accessible

Virtual Tot Shabbat at TBS with our new Senior Rabbi

Friday, October 23, 2020 | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm