Joyful Jewish

Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashanah

Finished product

After seeing the fabrics I purchased to make my Rosh Hashanah challah cover, my daughter asked for a Rosh Hashanah t-shirt.  This design was very quick and easy to make.

Step 1: Cut a circle or two semi circles of honey-ish fabric using double sided iron-on adhesive. (Anyone can be good at applique with this stuff – it’s fantastic!)  I just drew around a plate to make my circle.  Iron on to a plain t-shirt, and zig-zag stitch around the edge(s).

Step1 Honey

In case you’re wondering, purple has no connection to Rosh Hashanah as far as I am aware, it just happened that we had a plain purple t-shirt in the house and that saved me a trip to the shops. :-)

Step 2: Find a picture of an apple on the internet (or draw your own) and use that to apply a fabric apple in a similar fashion.

Step2 apple

Step 3: add a stem and leaf in the same way.

Step 3 details

That is all there is to it! It’s a really fast project (assuming you have a stash of suitable fabric and some iron-on adhesive!)

End result? One very happy daughter, who has subsequently worn her new t-shirt at every available opportunity!

On the model

If you like this, you might also like to see the t-shirt I made her for Pesach.

Finished challah cover

New Year is just around the corner, and I have been very busy in the lead up this year!

Following on from my earlier Chanukah and family handprint challah covers, I have now made one for Rosh Hashanah.  (I think I’ll be taking a break from challah covers for a while now!)  As Rosh Hashanah challah is round, so so is this cover, and the fabrics depict or represent apples and honey, two traditional sweet foods eaten for the new year.

Fabrics2

Fabrics1

I don’t have much patchwork experience and I wanted something simple (read: foolproof) so I found a very easy looking idea on the internet: a circle made by sewing triangles together.  I made a template out of cardboard, just a triangle with a 30 degree point.  12 “slices” x 30 degrees = 360 degrees aka a full circle. By cutting the point of each triangle off before sewing them together, I didn’t need to worry whether or not the points would meet up neatly.

Construction phase1

As you can see, it is not particularly circular at the edge, but you cut it back later.  (Make sure you cut your fabric larger than you think you’ll need so that it’s not too small when you trim and hem it.)  Alternatively, you might be smart enough to cut the template with the right curve built in – but I was sticking with simple!

Next I appliqued a circle to go in the centre and cover that hole.  I printed off the text for L’Shanah Tovah (literally “for a good year”) using a font called Frank Ruehl and traced around it to put the outline onto double sided iron-on adhesive.  A fair degree of fiddly cutting out and ironing on later, it looked like this:

Construction phase2

I used a bit more iron-on adhesive to stick the circle in the right place. Then it was just a case of stitching around the edges to make sure nothing falls off, EVER, and including a few beads for decorative effect.

Edging detail

Finally, I cut a circle of fabric for the back, trimmed the front to match, sewed the two faces together (you get the general idea…).  Next job, relocating that really good Rosh Hashanah challah recipe I used last year.

I wish you and your loved ones L’Shanah Tovah – may you be inscribed in the book of life for a sweet and blessed year.

Closer view of challah cover

Rosh Hashanah in plasticine

My daughter, now aged 6, is really enjoying creating little items out of plasticine.   This is her recent Rosh Hashanah still life, comprising apples, a pot of honey, three round challot, a black shofar and and orange and white Torah.

She had so much fun, she then produced a hamantaschen, a very wonky sukkah with table and chair and a lulav and etrog, among other things!  I was very proud of her efforts and finished products, which were 100% her own work.  My only input was encouragement and supply of the storage container.

Plasticine is really easy for little fingers to work with, comes in a range of colours and stays soft indefinitely.  It’s great!

Rosh Hashanah models and the artist

As my daughter (and our book collection!) continues to grow, I’ve decided to share the love and give some of our books away to friends with younger children.  Before they go, here are my thoughts on them.

Happy Birthday, World – a Rosh Hashanah Celebration by Latifa Berry Kropf, illustrated by Lisa Carlson

Book for Rosh Hashanah

Happy Birthday, World introduces some of the customs of Rosh Hashanah (eating apples dipped in honey, blowing the shofar, giving tzedakah) by comparing them with activities a child would associate with their own birthday (eating cake, tooting party horns, getting presents).  The realistic illustrations show a contemporary boy and girl with their parents.  It’s a board book with simple text, suitable for the youngest of children able to follow along.

- – -

Apples and Honey – A Rosh Hashanah Story by Jonny Zucker, illustrated by Jan Barger Cohen

Apples and Honey

Apples and Honey introduces a more extensive list of customs of Rosh Hashanah, including wearing new clothes, performing tashlich and eating pomegranate on the second evening.  Despite the title, it’s not really what I’d call a story, although it follows a family through a set of scenes. The illustrations are engagingly colourful.  There are a couple of pages of explanatory material (in child-friendly language) at the end of the book, including one on blowing the shofar.  I would suggest suitable for children 2 or 3 years old.

- – -

How the Rosh Hashanah Challah Became Round by Sylvia B. Epstein, illustrated by Hagit Migron

How the Rosh Hashanah Challah became round

Jossi is the son of the local baker, and he is very proud to help his father make bread for the townsfolk.  One day he is proudly carrying freshly plaited “challahs” to the oven when suddenly he trips.  The loaves roll down the stairs, becoming round in the process.  The townsfolk are at first unimpressed by these strangely misshapen challahs, but on the eve of Rosh Hashanah the local rabbi is inspired to find meaning in their shape, and soon everyone is agreeing with him.

This book assumes familiarity with the concepts of challah and Rosh Hashanah, and offers a gently humorous explanation for a question which probably occurs to children each Rosh Hashanah.  The illustrations are very simple cartoons.  It’s a little longer than the previous two books, and would be suitable for children over 3, or who are in that “Mum, why is….???” stage.

Last year I made some apple decorations to hang in my sukkah after Rosh Hashanah, based on an idea by Creative Jewish Mom.  Then I saved my plastic soda bottles all year so my Shabbat Tot group of kids could all make their own apple decoration for Rosh Hashanah.

To make this craft easy for very young children, I prepared a bunch of different pieces of paper or plastic that I had in my craft stash: printer paper, crepe paper, cellophane, florists’ paper etc – some shiny, some matt, some translucent.  These were all red apart from some gold cellophane to represent honey.  All the kids had to do was select some pieces and scrunch them up, then put them into the container – perfect fun and easy enough even for 2 year olds.  The “honey” went inside too.  To finish off the apple, the child taped on a cardboard leaf.

My wonderful husband is blessed with the annually useful talent of being able to make a great sound with a shofar. (In fact he can actually play recognisable tunes on a shofar, which is pretty impressive – too bad there is no need for this in a religious context!  I keep telling him he should take up trumpet.)  He was giving a shofar demonstration for a group of kids, most of whom were under 3 and not good at sitting still.  So we made it into an action game for them.

When he blew Tekiah, they took a big step forward.
When he blew Shevarim, they took three smaller steps forward.
When he blew Teruah, they did a bunch of steps on the spot.
And when he finally blew Tekiah Gedolah, they ran all the way to end of the hall and back again.

It was a lot of fun!

Fuse beads (hama beads, perler beads, whatever you want to call them) are awesome!  We found a new source of beads, including brown ones (how did we ever manage without brown?) and have been trying out some new ideas.  So, what can you do with fuse beads, other than vacuum them out of the carpet?  I made these Rosh Hashanah decorations for our front screen door and they are a little kitschy but I’m pretty happy with them.

The apple was made on a round pegboard.  The thing that looks like a furry red caterpillar is the pipecleaner (chenille stem) I used to attach it to the screen.  I didn’t realise we had two not-quite-identical shades of red until I took this photo, the joys of mixing up two sets of beads from different manufacturers!

The honeycomb was made on the central part of a six-pointed star (magen david) pegboard.

I made the text on a square pegboard, and the shofar down one side of a heart-shaped pegboard.  They are strung together with jewellery wire, and then onto a pipe cleaner.

So, come on over… :-)

PS If you like this, you might also like my fuse bead dreidels and shabbat designs.

I love to give and receive home-made cards. This year my Rosh Hashanah cards are a variation on papercutting – a traditional craft brought into the modern age thanks to the joy of technology.  Instead of cutting out designs by hand with a craft knife or scissors, I can send them via my computer to a machine (a Silhouette craft cutter) which accurately cuts the paper with a tiny blade, far quicker and more accurately than I could ever hope to do by hand.

After my design was cut out of white paper, I sticky-taped scraps of metallic paper (different colours and textures) behind sections of it (all except the apple outline) then used double sided tape to stick the entire thing on to green card.  The honey drop is actually a gold hologram-like paper which is very sparkly!

I can’t post the silhouette file, but here is a copy of my design you could trace around to make your own, if, like me, you were searching for Jewish designs for a Silhouette cutter.

Here’s to a sweet new year for all of us!

This past week, I designed a little Jewish card game/board game for my daughter (aged 4).  In it, you need to match 3 pictures to each of a selection of Jewish holidays.

For example, Shabbat is represented by candles, a kiddush cup and challah; Chanukah has a menorah, dreidel and latkes; Pesach has a seder plate, the plagues and matzah; and Yom Ha’atzmaut has an Israeli flag, a map of Israel and some Israeli dancers.

I found this game to be a fun way to review a lot of the festivals, identify some key symbols and talk about what we do, what we eat and so forth.  Please feel free to use it yourself.  The instructions are included on the pdf.  I suggested putting the pieces into boxes or bags during the game, but I’ve thought of another way to do it (especially for older children) – put all the pieces face down in the middle, and turn over two at a time as you would if playing Memory.  If either matches your card, move them to your card.  If not, turn face down again and let the next person take their turn.

Jewish calendar game for website

Last year I saw this fabulous idea at Creative Jewish Mom: she had made apple-shaped gift boxes from the ends of plastic bottles.  For better or worse we don’t buy much in the way of soft drinks, so it was quite some time before I finished two bottles of tonic water and was able to make my own version of this great idea: a hanging decoration which we can use both for Rosh Hashanah and for our sukkah.

What I used:
- ends of two 1.25l plastic bottles (the sort where the bottom looks a bit like a flower with five petals – I used several different brands and some work better than others, so you may just need to experiment.)
- red or green cellophane (or tissue paper, or fabric.)  The beauty of cellophane is that the light shines through it.
- felt scraps for the leaves and stem
- thin ribbon or similar to hang the apple up, and a button to hold this in place.
- needle and thread

How to make this:
1. Carefully cut off the ends of two plastic bottles.  I found cutting one a centimetre or so taller than the other meant I could overlap them and they stick together even without glue.

2. Very carefully use a sharp object to punch/drill a tiny hole in the centre of one of the bottle ends.  Thread through the ribbon so that you have a loop on the outside.  Thread the ends through a button and tie it on the inside.  (The botton stops the ribbon from slipping out.  Alternatively you could make two holes and skip the button.)

3. Cut leaves and a stem from felt and stitch them together (glue might also work but thread seemed more secure to me.)  Stitch the leaves and stem to the ribbon.  If you’re more organised than me, you might even be able to do this in one step rather than in two.

4. Scrunch up some cellophane or other paper/fabric to provide the colour of the apple and put this inside.

5. Slot the plastic bottle ends together. Glue or tape them if necessary.

6. Hang and admire!


Fun crafts and activities for Jewish families with young children

A resource site for anyone who wants to share the joy of being Jewish with the children in their life.

Enjoy!

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