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high holidays

59 Kid-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the Fall Jewish Holidays in New Jersey

Girl blowing shofar

The fall Jewish holidays are right around the corner and there are so many opportunities for family fun – from crisp apples dipped in honey to outdoor fun in the Sukkah. We’ve put together a super-sized round-up of things to do including family-friendly Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services and some fun, non-traditional ways to celebrate as well.


Rosh Hashanah 2017 begins on Wednesday evening, Sept. 20 and concludes at sundown on Friday, Sept. 22. Yom Kippur 2017 begins on Friday evening, Sept. 29 and concludes at sundown on Saturday, Sept. 30. Sukkot 2017 begins on Wednesday evening, Oct. 4 and concludes with Shemini Atzeret on Thursday, Oct. 12 and Simchat Torah on Friday, Oct. 13.


ROSH HASHANAH | YOM KIPPUR | SUKKOT/SIMCHAT TORAH


 

ROSH HASHANAH

Selichot for Young Families
Get ready for the Jewish new year with Jewish yoga and a dairy potluck dinner. Please bring a tree nut and peanut-free dish to share. Free and open to all. Click here for more information.
Temple Ner Tamid, 936 Broad St, Bloomfield 
Saturday, September 16, 5 – 7 p.m.

Selichot at Temple Sholom
Participate in a High Holidays-themed version of The Kindness Rocks Project and decorate rocks to be placed around the temple building and grounds to provide inspiration during the High Holidays. BBQ dinner before the event – RSVP needed for dinner. The event is free and open to all.
Temple Sholom, 1925 Lake Ave, Scotch Plains
Saturday, September 16, 5:15 p.m.

High Holy Days Torah Tots
Learn about the upcoming holidays with singing, stories, and crafts. For children ages 3 – 5 and their families. Free and open to all.
Temple Har Shalom, 104 Mount Horeb Rd, Warren
Sunday, September 17, 10 – 11 a.m.

High Holiday Kosher Cooking for Kids
A free, monthly cooking class for children ages 3 and up. Participants will learn about Jewish holidays and traditions while cooking their way through the Jewish year. Advance registration required.
B’nai Shalom, 300 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
Sunday, September 17, 11 a.m. – Noon

Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel Rosh Hashanah Evening Family Service
Welcome Rosh Hashanah with a blend of jazz, klezmer, traditional, and modern music performed live by The Afro-Semitic Experience. Open to all, all ages.
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Rd, South Orange
Wednesday, September 20, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Adath Shalom Rosh Hashanah Family Service
A warm and inviting Rosh Hashanah service for families with children in pre-K through 2nd grade. All are welcome, but RSVP required.
Adath Shalom 841 Mountain Way, Morris Plains
Thursday, September 21 & Friday, September 22,  9:15 – 10 a.m.

Congregation Beth El Rosh Hashanah Mini Minyan
A musical, fun-filled with songs, age-appropriate prayers, Torah stories and puppet plays for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers accompanied by a grown-up.
Congregation Beth El, 222 Irvington Ave, South Orange
Thursday, September 21 & Friday, September 22, 11 a.m. – Noon

Congregation Beth Hatikvah Rosh Hashanah Children’s Programming
Age-appropriate children’s programming for ages pre-K through 4th grade and babysitting for babies and toddlers concurrent to the main service. Advance registration required.
Congregation Beth Hatikvah, 36 Chatham Rd, Summit
Thursday, September 21, 9:30 a.m.

Temple Beth Shalom Rosh Hashanah Family Services
Two age-appropriate Rosh Hashanah services for children ages 2 -5 years.
Temple Beth Shalom, 193 East Mount Pleasant Ave, Livingston
Thursday, September 21 & Friday, September 22, 10 – 10:55 a.m. – ages 2 -3, 11:05 a.m. – Noon – ages 4 – 5.

Temple Beth Shalom High Holiday Inclusion Experience
A warm, inviting, interactive program designed to be accessible and sensitive to a variety of needs. Free and open to all, snacks available, RSVP encouraged.
Temple Beth Shalom, 193 East Mount Pleasant Ave, Livingston
Thursday, September 21, 6:45 – 7 p.m.

Congregation B’nai Israel Basking Ridge Rosh Hashanah Family Service
For families with children ages 10 and under, led by synagogue clergy. Family service is open to the community, tickets are required for the main service.
Congregation B’nai Israel, 40 Whitenack Rd, Basking Ridge
Thursday, September 21, 8:30 – 9 a.m.

Congregation B’nai Israel Millburn Rosh Hashanah Young Family Service
Parents and children kindergarten-age and younger pray together in an age-appropriate setting with songs, story-telling, Shofar blowing, and a Torah parade. Services will be led by Rabbi Sharon Litwin, Director of Congregational Learning. Advance registration requested. Services and activities for grades K – 2 begin at 10:30 a.m.
Congregation B’nai Israel, 160 Millburn Ave, Millburn
Thursday, September 21 & Friday, September 22, 9 – 10 a.m.

Congregation B’nai Israel Millburn Yaldeinu Rosh Hashanah Special Needs Services
A participatory, joyful, and relaxed Rosh Hashanah service for children or young adults with significant special needs. Open to all.
Congregation B’nai Israel, 160 Millburn Ave, Millburn
Thursday, September 21, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Temple Emanu-El Rosh Hashanah Family Service
A service geared toward families with children ages 8 and under. Free and open to all.
Temple Emanu-El, 756 East Broad St, Westfield
Thursday, September 21, 3 – 4 p.m.

Morristown Jewish Center Rosh Hashanah Family Services
A brief, interactive service for families with children in 2nd grade and younger with age-appropriate prayers and activities.
Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael, 177 Speedwell Ave, Morristown
Thursday, September 21 & Friday, September 22, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Temple Ner Tamid Rosh Hashanah Tot Service
A service designed for families with children ages 6 and under, held in the main sanctuary and led by Rabbi Kushner and Cantor Greenberg. All are welcome.
Temple Ner Tamid, 936 Broad St, Bloomfield
Thursday, September 21, 2 – 3 p.m.

Oheb Shalom Congregation – SOMA Rosh Hashanah Katan
An energetic Rosh Hashanah experience for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with singing, dancing, stories, and crafts. Youth services and activities also available for children in grades K – 8.
Oheb Shalom Congregation, 170 Scotland Rd, South Orange
Thursday, September 21 & Friday, September 22, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit JCC Community Rosh Hashanah Service
A high holiday experience for families with young children including age-appropriate prayers, readings, songs, stories, and an abbreviated Torah service. Free and open to the community, all are welcome, no tickets necessary.
Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit JCC, 67 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit
Thursday, September 21, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel Intergenerational Rosh Hashanah Family Service
Designed for young children and their parents, grandparents, or caregivers, this service includes songs, prayers, and age-appropriate stories and activities. All are welcome.
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Rd, South Orange
Thursday, September 21, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Temple Sholom Scotch Plains Rosh Hashanah Children’s Service
Engaging and musical family service with stories and age-appropriate prayers. For families with children in 2nd grade and under. Free and open to all, but RSVP required.
Temple Sholom, 1925 Lake Ave, Scotch Plains
Thursday, September 21, 9 a.m. & Friday, September 22, 11 a.m.
 

Tashlich in The Park – Cedar Grove Memorial Park
A family-friendly ceremony where sins are symbolically cast away by throwing bread crumbs into a body of water. Meet at the bridge in Cedar Grove Memorial Park. Bring your own breadcrumbs. Sponsored by Temple Sholom of West Essex. For more information, contact the synagogue office 973-239-1321. Free and open to all.
Cedar Grove Memorial Park, Little Falls Rd, Cedar Grove
Thursday, September 21, 2 – 3 p.m.

Tashlich for Families – Briant Park in Summit
Casual outdoor gathering with songs and prayers led by synagogue clergy. Bring your own breadcrumbs, children can also bring a shofar. Sponsored by Temple Sha’arey Shalom, light refreshments provided.
Briant Park, Springfield Ave, Summit
Thursday, September 21, 2 – 2:45 p.m.

Tashlich – Duck Pond @ Flood’s Hill in South Orange
A brief service with singing and reflection followed by the symbolic casting away of sins. Bring your own picnic blanket and snacks. Sponsored by Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel.
Duck Pond, 70 N Ridgewood Rd, South Orange
Thursday, September 21, 4 -5 p.m.

Temple Har Shalom Young Families High Holiday Experience
A special service designed for families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with activities, songs, and stories led by synagogue clergy and the director of the preschool. No tickets required. Free and open to all.
Temple Har Shalom, 104 Mount Horeb Rd, Warren
Friday September 22, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

 


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YOM KIPPUR

 

Oheb Shalom Congregation Kol Nidrei Family Service
Usher in Yom Kippur with a family-friendly service designed for families with children up to 6th grade. All are welcome.
Oheb Shalom Congregation, 170 Scotland Rd, South Orange
Friday, Sept. 29, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Adath Shalom Yom Kippur Family Service
A warm and inviting Yom Kippur service for families with children in pre-K through 2nd grade. All are welcome, but RSVP required.
Adath Shalom 841 Mountain Way, Morris Plains
September 30,  9:15 – 10 a.m.

Congregation Beth El Yom Kippur Mini Minyan
A musical, fun-filled with songs, age-appropriate prayers, Torah stories and puppet plays for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers accompanied by a grown-up.
Congregation Beth El, 222 Irvington Ave, South Orange
Saturday, September 30, 11 a.m. – Noon

Congregation Beth Hatikvah Yom Kippur Children’s Programming
Age-appropriate children’s programming for ages pre-K through 4th grade and babysitting for babies and toddlers concurrent to the main service. Advance registration required.
Congregation Beth Hatikvah, 36 Chatham Rd, Summit
Saturday, September 30, 9:30 a.m.

Temple Beth Shalom Yom Kippur Family Services
Age-appropriate Yom Kippur service for children ages 2 -5 years.
Temple Beth Shalom, 193 East Mount Pleasant Ave, Livingston
Saturday, September 30, 10 a.m. – Noon

Congregation B’nai Israel Basking Ridge Yom Kippur Family Service
For families with children ages 10 and under, led by synagogue clergy. Family service is open to the community, tickets are required for the main service.
Congregation B’nai Israel, 40 Whitenack Rd, Basking Ridge
Saturday, September 30, 8:30 – 9 a.m.

Congregation B’nai Israel Millburn Yom Kippur Young Family Service
Parents and children kindergarten-age and younger pray together in an age-appropriate setting with songs, story-telling, Shofar blowing, and a Torah parade. Services will be led by Rabbi Sharon Litwin, Director of Congregational Learning. Advance registration requested. Services and activities for grades K – 2 begin at 10:30 a.m.
Congregation B’nai Israel, 160 Millburn Ave, Millburn
Saturday, Sept. 30, 9 – 10 a.m.

Congregation B’nai Israel Millburn Yaldeinu Yom Kippur Special Needs Service
A participatory, joyful, and relaxed holiday service for children or young adults with significant special needs. Open to all.
Congregation B’nai Israel, 160 Millburn Ave, Millburn
Saturday, September 30, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

B’nai Shalom Neilah/Bible Players Performance
Kids of all ages can finish Yom Kippur in a fun and thoughtful way with Bible stories brought to life by the renowned comedic duo The Bible Players. The Neilah service will take place concurrently in the main sanctuary.
B’nai Shalom, 300 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
Saturday, September 30, 6:10 – 7:10 p.m.

Temple Emanu-El Yom Kippur Family Service
A service geared toward families with children ages 8 and under. Free and open to all.
Temple Emanu-El, 756 East Broad St, Westfield
Saturday, September 30, 2 – 3 p.m.

Morristown Jewish Center Yom Kippur Family Services
A brief interactive service for families with children in 2nd grade and younger with age-appropriate prayers and activities.
Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael, 177 Speedwell Ave, Morristown
Saturday, September 30, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.

Temple Ner Tamid Yom Kippur Tot Service
A service designed for families with children ages 6 and under, held in the main sanctuary and led by Rabbi Kushner and Cantor Greenberg. All are welcome.
Temple Ner Tamid, 936 Broad St, Bloomfield
Saturday, September 30, 2 – 3 p.m.

Oheb Shalom Congregation – SOMA Yom Kippur Katan
An interactive Yom Kippur experience for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers with singing, dancing, stories, and crafts. Youth services and activities also available for children in grades K – 8.
Oheb Shalom Congregation, 170 Scotland Rd, South Orange
Saturday, September 30, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit JCC Community Yom Kippur Service
A high holiday experience for families with young children including age-appropriate prayers, readings, songs, stories, and an abbreviated Torah service. Free and open to the community, all are welcome, no tickets necessary.
Congregation Ohr Shalom/Summit JCC, 67 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit
Saturday, September 30, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Temple Sha’arey Shalom Young Families Yom Kippur Service
An interactive Yom Kippur service for children ages 8 and under and their families with stories, songs, guitar, and age-appropriate conversations about the meaning of Yom Kippur.
Temple Sha’arey Shalom, 78 South Springfield Ave, Springfield
Saturday, September 30, 2 – 2:45 p.m.

Temple Sharey Tefilo Israel Intergenerational Yom Kippur Family Service
Designed for young children and their parents, grandparents, or caregivers, this service includes songs, prayers, and age-appropriate stories and activities. All are welcome.
Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Rd, South Orange
Saturday, September 30, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Temple Sholom Yom Kippur Children’s Service
Engaging and musical family service with stories and age-appropriate prayers. For families with children in 2nd grade and under. Free and open to all, but RSVP required.
Temple Sholom, 1925 Lake Ave, Scotch Plains
Saturday, September 30, 9 a.m.

 


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SUKKOT/SIMCHAT TORAH

 

Sukkah Decorating & Donuts
Help make decorations to beautify the synagogue sukkah and enjoy a donut snack.
B’nai Shalom, 300 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
Tuesday, September 26, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Celebrate Sukkot with Gan Ktan
Learn about the holiday of Sukkot with crafts, snacks, stories, and songs in the school sukkah. Best for children ages 1 -3 years accompanied by an adult. Free and open to all. Registration requested but not required.
Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, 110 South Orange Ave, Livingston
Tuesday, October 3, 4 – 5 p.m.

Sukkot for Young Families
Usher in the holiday of Sukkot by decorating the sukkah, sharing a potluck dairy dinner, and concluding with a family service. All are welcome. Please bring a dairy or pareve, tree-nut and peanut-free dish to share.
Temple Ner Tamid, 936 Broad St, Bloomfield
Wednesday, October 4, 5 – 7 p.m.

Holiday Haverim – Sukkot
Learn about the holiday of Sukkot through stories, crafts, and music and enjoy a pizza dinner. The event is followed by ice cream in the sukkah for all. For children in grades K – 2, $25 per child, advance registration required through the synagogue office – 973 -379-5387.
Temple Sha’arey Shalom, 78 South Springfield Ave, Springfield
Wednesday, October 4, 5 – 6 p.m.

Dinner & Fun in the Sukkah
Shabbat dinner in the sukkah followed by entertainment by Mr. Fish and his Super Scientific Circus.
Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael, 177 Speedwell Ave, Morristown
Friday, October 6, 6 – 8 p.m.

Tot Shabbat & Potluck Dinner
Join Cantor Meredith Greenberg and other families with preschool-aged children for a dairy potluck dinner followed by a Tot Shabbat service. Please bring a dairy or pareve, tree-nut and peanut-free dish to share. Free and open to all.
Temple Ner Tamid, 936 Broad St, Bloomfield
Friday, October 6, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Shabbat Sukkot Family Service
Celebrate Shabbat and Sukkot with a family-friendly and song-filled service followed by light refreshments. Free and open to all.
Temple Sholom of West Essex, 760 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove
Friday, October 6, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

SOMA First Fridays Sukkot
Celebrate the holiday of Sukkot with a free Shabbat dinner in the new synagogue sukkah. RSVP requested. All ages.
Oheb Shalom Congregation, 170 Scotland Rd South Orange
Friday, October 6, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Sukkot/Simchat Torah Kosher Cooking for Kids
Learn about the holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah by cooking traditional and new holiday-themed recipes. For children ages 3 and up, advance registration required, free.
B’nai Shalom, 300 Pleasant Valley Way, West Orange
Sunday, October 8, 11 a.m. – Noon

Summertime Sukkot at Camp
Learn about the holiday of Sukkot with camp-like activities with crafts, lunch in the sukkah, a bonfire, petting zoo, and more. Free and open to the community. RSVP requested but not required.
Temple B’nai Abraham, 300 East Northfield Rd, Livingston
Sunday, October 8, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Spaghetti and Super Heroes in the Sukkah
Learn about the superheroes of the ancient world, make your own superhero capes and Greek pottery and have fun with family Olympics. Best for ages 2 – 6 years, registration requested but not required. Free and open to all. Food will be served.
Gottesman RTW Academy, 146 Dover Chester Rd, Randolph,
Sunday, October 8, 12:30 – 2 p.m.

Greater MetroWest Sukkot Family Open House 
Join other families with young children in a Sukkah near you for games, activities, holiday-themed crafts with natural materials, and story time. Choose from three different locations, advance registration required, address provided upon RSVP.  Free and open to all.
Livingston – Lugashi Family Sukkah, 10 – 11:30 a.m. (best for ages 7 and under)
Randolph – Najarian Family Sukkah, Noon – 4 p.m. (best for ages 7 and under)
Scotch Plains – Melville Family Sukkah, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (all ages)
Sunday, October 8

Celebrate Sukkot with JCC MetroWest @ Camp Deeny Riback
Celebrate Sukkot at camp with fall family fun. Free and open to all.
JCC Camp Deeny Riback, 208 Flanders Netcong Rd, Flanders
Sunday, October 8, 2 – 4:30 p.m.

Holiday Haverim Simchat Torah
Learn about the holiday of Simchat Torah through stories, games, and crafts along with a pizza dinner. For children grades K – 2, $25 per child, advance registration requested. Synagogue Simchat Torah celebration to follow at 6:30 p.m.
Temple Sha’arey Shalom, 78 South Springfield Ave, Springfield
Wednesday, October 11, 5 – 6 p.m.

Simchat Torah @ Adath Shalom
A lively and festive Simchat Torah celebration with hakafot, all ages.
Adath Shalom, 841 Mountain Way, Morris Plains
Thursday, October 12, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Simchat Torah Celebration @ Ner Tamid
Dance with Torah scrolls and see an entire Torah scroll unrolled at this fun and lively service, and enjoy a candy apple treat.
Temple Ner Tamid, 936 Broad St, Bloomfield
Thursday, October 12, 7 – 9 p.m.

Simchat Torah Family Celebration @ Oheb Shalom
Celebrate the Torah with family-friendly music, dancing, and fun for all ages.
Oheb Shalom Congregation, 170 Scotland Rd South Orange
Thursday, October 12, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Simchat Torah Family Shabbat Service @ Temple Sholom of West Essex
A family-friendly song-filled Shabbat and Simchat Torah celebration with singing and dancing and a chance to see the entire Torah scroll unrolled. All are welcome. Celebratory Oneg to follow.
Temple Sholom of West Essex, 760 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove
Friday, October 13, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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