A Happy & Sweet Year – The Signs for Rosh Hashanah


What do pomegranates, fish heads, and beets have to do with Rosh Hashanah? In this resource, learners will explore the connection between the tradition of eating the “simanim” (symbolic foods eaten on Rosh Hashanah) and the accompanying prayers that express our hopes for the new year. In addition to discussing the value and potential impact of this custom, students will be invited to contribute to a class padlet and write their wishes for themselves, their families, their friends, their community, and the world.

The learner will:

  1. Understand the benefits of expressing hopes or wishes that are accompanied by an action

  2. know how the blessings for each of the symbolic foods “fit” with the foods

  3. be able to to choose a symbolic food and create a prayer of the same genre that expresses their own request for the upcoming year

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

  6. A how to do it section with a video that explains how to prepare a Seder plate for Rosh Hashanah.

Student handout, simanim foods, paper goods

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