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high holidays

Where to Celebrate the High Holidays with Kids in New York

rosh hashanah

Objects on the calendar are closer than they appear! Believe it or not, Rosh Hashanah—the Jewish New Year—begins in less than one week on Sunday, September 13 at sundown, followed by Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—which starts on Tuesday evening, Sept. 22. But wait, there’s more! Right after that comes the harvest holiday of Sukkot, which we usher in on Sunday evening, Sept. 27.

So what to do about all these holidays? We’ve put together a list of the top ways to celebrate and learn about the holidays with your little ones, along with some other programs to keep you busy on the non-holiday days of the month as well.

While you’re at it, share your resolution for the Jewish New Year on Kveller’s Rosh Hashanah Resolutions page.

Need some menu inspiration for all of those holiday meals? Check out the apple and honey cupcakes on Kveller, and the pomegranate and honey glazed chicken over at The Nosher.

Holiday-Related Events

Manhattan
A Tashlich To Remember
Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with story time, a special holiday snack, and the sound of the shofar with PJ Library at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun. RSVP requested. Free
Carl Shurz Park, East 86th Street & East End Ave, Upper East Side
(Rain location Ramaz Lower School 125 E. 85th St.)
Monday, Sept. 14, 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Sukkot Family Celebration
Experience the harvest holiday through art, music, and more in the Family Rooftop Sukkah. RSVP requested. Free
JCC of Manhattan, 344 Amsterdam at 76th St., Upper West Side
Thursday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

Long Island
Great Stories: Rosh Hashanah
Stories, songs, and crafts to celebrate the New Year. Organized by Sid Jacobson JCC, free.
Barnes & Noble, 1542 Northern Blvd., Manhasset,
Tuesday, Sept. 8, 10:30 a.m. – Noon

Shababeque
Join Jewish Without Walls for a BBQ and Shabbat celebration celebrating the new year. Get creative with tie-dye, meet new friends, and catch up with old ones. RSVP required.
Private Home (Location provided upon RSVP), East Setauket
Friday, September 11. 5 – 7:30 p.

Family Fun Carnival
Celebrate the Jewish New Year with games, food, rides, crafts, a honey tasting, and a family service project. Free
Bernice Jacobson Day School & Camp, 340 Wheatley Road, Old Westbury
Sunday, Sept 20,11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Community Tashlich
Participate in this hands-on Jewish New Year’s ritual with songs, meditation, prayers, and bread throwing. Open to all.
Huntington Jewish Center, 510 Park Avenue, Huntington
Sunday, Sept. 20, 10:45 a.m. – Noon


Shabbat Under the Stars Sukkot Dinner
Help decorate the sukkah, sing holiday songs, and enjoy dinner with other families with young children. Bring your own picnic dinner, they’ll supply the challah, grape juice, and dessert.
Sid Jacobson JCC, 300 Forest Drive, East Hills
Friday, Oct. 2, 5:15 p.m.

Sukkah in the Suburbs Festival
An afternoon of live music, food, and fun with life-sized board games and a variety of booths staffed by local organizations.
Central Synagogue of Nassau County/ Congregation Beth Emeth, 430 DeMott Ave., Rockville Center
Sunday, Oct. 4, 11:45 a.m. – 2 p.m.


Westchester
Rosh Hashanah Nature Walk & Tashlich
Nature walk followed- by a short family-friendly service on the beach. Free and open to all.
Edith Read Sanctuary @ Playland Park, 2125 Westchester Ave East, Rye
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 10:15 – 11:30 a.m.

Meet the Animals
Meet the turtles, snakes, and bunnies, and then walk to the lake and discuss preparing for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. RSVP required.
Teatown Lake Reservation 1600 Spring Valley Rd., Ossining
Monday, Sept. 21., 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Sukkot: Harvest Hoedown
Celebrate the fall harvest holiday with food, live entertainment, and fun for the whole family.
Rosenthal JCC, 600 Bear Ridge Road, Pleasantville
Sunday, Sept. 27, 4 – 6 p.m.

Free High Holiday Services*

Brooklyn
High Holiday Family Services
An interactive service with stories, dance, and both contemporary and traditional songs. Services are free, no RSVP necessary.
Kolot Chayeinu, 298 6th Ave.
Rosh Hashanah: Monday, Sept. 14, 2:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur, Wednesday, Sept 23, 1:30 p.m.

Sensory Sensitive Rosh Hashanah Service
An inclusive service designed for families with children with special needs including guitar accompaniment, shofar blowing, and the use of visual aids. RSVP requested.
Park Slope Jewish Center, 1320 8th Ave. @14th St.
Monday, September 14, 3 p.m.

Youth & Family High Holiday Services
Age appropriate youth services open to members and non-members. Jews of all ages, backgrounds, affiliations, family structures, and sexual orientation are welcome.
Park Slope Jewish Center, 1320 8th Ave. @ 14th St.
Rosh Hashanah, Monday, Sept.14 & Tuesday, Sept. 15, 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Yom Kippur: Wednesday, Oct. 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Days of Awe Barrier-Free Service for Everyone
A welcoming and needs-sensitive all-ages service celebrating the Jewish New Year. A social story is available ahead of time, if requested. Service is wheelchair accessible and ASL interpreted, assistive listening devices are available, and all reading materials are in large print. RSVP requested.
East Midwood Jewish Center, 1625 Ocean Avenue
Sunday, Sept. 20, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Manhattan
Family High Holiday Services
An interactive service for parents and children. Free.
Town & Village Synagogue, 334 East 14th Street, Downtown
Rosh Hashanah: Monday Sept. 14 & Tuesday, Sept. 15, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Shireinu Service for Families with Special Needs
Welcome the New Year with prayer, Torah, music, and sweetness. Service will include ASL interpretation, a quiet room, and a visual schedule, and a social story can be provided in advance if requested. Free and open to all, all ages. RSVP encouraged.
Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd St., Upper West Side
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 11 a.m. – Noon


Long Island
High Holiday Children’s Services
Free children’s services, free services for grown-ups too.
Chabad of East Hampton, 17 Woods Lane, East Hampton
Rosh Hashanah: Monday, Sept. 14 & Tuesday Sept. 15, 11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Yom Kippur: Wednesday, Sept. 23, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah Children’s Service
Celebrate the Jewish New Year with your little ones by with songs, stories, apples and honey and the sound of the shofar. For children up to age 8.
Central Synagogue of Nassau County/ Congregation Beth Emeth, 430 DeMott Ave., Rockville Centre
Monday, Sept. 14, 2 – 3 p.m.

Yom Kippur Children’s Service
Sing holiday songs, hear the sound of the shofar, and listen to a holiday-related story. For families with children ages 8 and under.
Central Synagogue of Nassau County/ Congregation Beth Emeth, 430 DeMott Ave., Rockville Centre
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2 – 3 p.m.

High Holiday Experience
Join Jewish Life Experience for free, engaging, and explanatory services. No experience required. Childcare provided. RSVP required.
HANC of Plainview, 25 Country Drive, Plainview
Rosh Hashanah: Monday, Sept. 14, 9:15 – 11:15 a.m.
Yom Kippur: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Westchester
Young Families Rosh Hashanah Service & Celebration
Participate in a brief, family-friendly service filled with stories and song followed by apples and honey, arts and crafts, and games. Free and open to the public. RSVP requested.
Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester, 2125 Westchester Ave East, Rye
Monday, Sept. 14, 3 – 4 p.m.

Youth Services at Beth El Synagogue Center
Age-appropriate children’s services and activities. Free high holiday tickets for prospective members. Contact the synagogue for more information.
Beth El Synagogue Center, 1324 North Ave, New Rochelle
Monday Sept. 14 & Tuesday, Sept. 15, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Young Families Yom Kippur Service
A clergy-led service for families with children ages 8 and under (siblings welcome) with singing, storytelling, and prayer. Open to all.
Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester, 2125 Westchester Ave East, Rye
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2:15 – 3 p.m.

Please note, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all of the free High Holiday services available in the New York metropolitan area. We have included information from all of the synagogues that shared their information with us before going to press. Our friends (and supporters) at UJA-Federation of NY have compiled a list of High Holiday services in the New York area. For more information you can also get in touch with their J-11 Information and Referral Center.

Best wishes for a sweet, happy, and healthy New Year from our Kveller family to yours!

When is Rosh Hashanah 2015? Click here to find out

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