Why My Jewish Holiday Recipes Don’t Use Oil (And 3 Reasons You Might Want To Use Less In Your Own Food)

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Why My Jewish Holiday Recipes Don't Use Oil

Before I released the Jewish Food Hero Cookbook, I sent a some recipes to a few friends and bloggers for a bit of feedback. What did they think about the mock chopped liver? Were they intimidated by plant-based recipes?

Jewish Food Hero Cookbook // jewishfoodhero.com
By and large the responses were wonderfully positive. One sweet tester said, This modern menu made me want to be more Jewish. Jewish Food Hero can literally save some of our Jewish heritage with this!”

And one tester said All this looks great until you “fry” an onion in water or vegetable broth. Hey, a little bit of olive oil is a must in my kitchen :-)”

At the risk of being unpopular (or telling you things you’d prefer not to hear) oils aren’t health food.

Oils in any form.

Why My Jewish Holiday Recipes Don't Use Oil
Which is why I don’t use them in my recipes, except in one instance for Purim.

A few years ago, I didn’t think much about oil. In fact, I was sure it was healthy for my family and me. I made vinaigrettes for my husband, dribbled it atop soups for decorative flourish, I even made an egg-free version of olive oil cake.

“Healthy fats!” the magazines tell us.
“This is a healthy oil” is what we tell each other in discussion.
“Lower likelihood of cardiovascular disease,” we’d all repeat to ourselves while swirling our bread around in a shallow dish of that golden goodness.

And then I took this class.
And promptly reconsidered the oil-is-good-for-me stance.

Here’s why:

1. Oil is incredibly high in calories – and low in everything else
Did you know that oil has 120 calories per tablespoon?! That’s more than most premium ice creams. That means you could eat half a cup of your favorite ice cream flavor for the same calories as the two tablespoons of oil you placed in your healthy soup recipe. (This example is meant to be illustrative rather than prescriptive).

Why My Jewish Holiday Recipes Don't Use Oil

Do you know how much protein olive oil has? Or how many vitamins? Or how much fiber? Big ‘ol zeros in every category.

2. It’s not satiating
How do you feel after eating a big bowl of stew accompanied by a nice hunk of thick rustic bread? How do you feel after drinking a liter of Diet Coke and a pile of rice cakes? I’m just guessing here, but I imagine you feel full, happy, satiated after the former and, well, still hungry after the latter because it is just empty.

Oils are not satiating. They don’t make us feel full. They don’t signal our brains that we’ve eaten enough and our needs are met.

3. It doesn’t actually taste that great
When I think about this things I loved to put oil on – crusty breads, fresh heirloom tomatoes, edamame – I realize that really? The delicious aspect of that dish was the bread or the tomatoes, not the oil. The oil was just something I was adding because I thought it was really good for me.

But I’ve changed my mindset (through education) and habits (by trying and doing). For the last three years I’ve been living without oils, replacing them in both cooking and baking. When I developed my Jewish Food Hero Cookbook recipes, I opted out of oil except for one instance of using a tiny bit of oil in the Purim menu – to get the perfect shape of those Hamentachen cookies, of course!

Why My Jewish Holiday Recipes Don't Use Oil

Instead, I used ingredients like broth, starch purees, lemon juice, maple syrup, applesauce, and small amounts of nut butters to keep my recipes healthy, moist, flavorful, and delicious.

Here’s what nutritionist and dietitian Jeff Novick says:

There is absolutely no beneficial nutrient that is in cocoa, or coffee or coconut or olive oil or wine that you can’t already get in healthy plant foods like fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, etc. Sometimes, these foods are praised for their high amounts of a nutrient but realize, on a healthy diet based on fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, we are already getting in more than adequate amounts of all these nutrients. And, in food, once you get in enough, there is no situation where more is better and in some cases, more may be harmful.

For us student types here is a 5 minute lecture on oil that you might like.

Your turn: Watch the video and let me know what you think about oil for you.

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What’s On Your Rosh Hashanah Playlist, Jennifer Elsner?

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Rosh Hashanah playlist

What’s on your playlist is a recurring feature where I ask one woman to create a holiday inspired soundtrack for us.

This Rosh Hashanah, I asked Jennifer Elsner to build a Rosh Hashanah mood for us.

Jennifer is a multidisciplinary artist, and creator of Inquiry Pop-up — a vacay meets salon meets dinner party, for a carefully curated coterie of women, in spectacular and remote locations. And while she’s uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person, has heard it can be effective for things like this.

Rosh Hashanah playlist

Let’s connect with Jennifer and listen to her.  May this post inspire you.

 

What mood are you building with this playlist?

A heightened awareness. To feel something unique in each song and as a collection, to access places new, within.

What do you imagine us “doing” while we listen to this playlist?  

Walking. With headsets on. Especially a walk is taken in the midst of holiday obligation(s). I see someone unapologetically defining this time alone, walking, as the greatest gift to your family, and your spirit.

 

Soundtrack for Time Alone on Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah playlist

1: She & Him – Swing Low Sweet Chariot

I looked it up, “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is an American Negro Spiritual, from 1909. I’m not surprised. This version of the song, sung by Zooey Deschanel, is sweeter sounding than the many other renditions I’ve heard, but beneath the surface, remains a soulful complexity.

 

2: Bjork – Show Me Forgiveness

Show me forgiveness / For having lost faith in myself ...

I think of the exchange of asking for, and giving of, grace as integral to the Days of Awe. So, I typed the word “forgiveness” into my iTunes music search. I was immediately attracted to the title, but after listening I was convinced of it’s inclusion. This song is an uncommonly subdued song by Bjork. Her restraint here is as powerful as her more upbeat music.

 

3: Coldplay – God Put a Smile upon Your Face

When I finally discovered this song, YEARS after it came out, I wondered how it escaped me. It’s a heroic sounding song, that goes back and forth between emotional heights and depths. The climb and descent is majestic — it never fails to elevate my mood.

 

4: Regina Spektor – Better

Similar to the above, “Better” is an epic song. Most Regina Spektor songs are. I never fail to include her in any playlist. Her unabashed earnestness in vocal performance is something I crave to embody more fully. You can’t help but to be called to sing with her, trying to match her lead.

 

5: Vampire Weekend – Taxi Cab

I wish the title “Taxi Cab” fit better into this collection, but the song fits perfectly into the mix. Like a pixie sprinkling joy into beautiful monotony. I can see how on a walk, Ezra Koenig’s singing will bring you back, inward, after belting-it-out with Regina.

 

6: Kaiser Cartel – Blue Sky

I chose this song specifically because the twinkly piano riff harkens to the pixie-esque bridge in “Taxi Cab.” But the atmospheric simplicity was a great way to change the tone. The female voice is gorgeous, isn’t it? This song makes me feel like I could effortlessly lift off the ground and fly.

 

7: Paul Simon – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard

I added this in to disrupt the whole thing I have going on, above. A return to something familiar and joyful. And a little crazy. It also makes me whistle.

 

8: La Derniere Minute – Carla Bruni

This song packs a punch in a wee 1 minute. Carla Bruni’s voice is stripped from artifice, and the acoustic guitar doubles down on creating intimacy. While the pacing from “Me and Julio” is kept up by something akin to a metronome, the tick-tock-tick-tock slows things down as we come to the end of the mix. I like offering that subtle cue.

 

9: All is Love – Karen O & The Kids

This is an excellent song to end with because of it’s message of unpretentious, childlike love of life. If I’m going to return from a walk, and back into my home, how this song makes me feel is how I want my family to know me. It’s what I want to feel. Expansive. Worry-free. Renewed.

 

Jennifer, thank you for sharing. I will carry your words: “” I see someone unapologetically defining this time alone, walking, as the greatest gift to your family, and your spirit.” with me into the High Holidays.

This post is part of our Holiday Playlist series where we ask inspiring women to build a mood for us for a specific holiday.  

Your turn:  What song would you add to Jennifer’s playlist?

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Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers (+ Printable Prayer Cards)

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Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

I was in a session with a psychotherapy client and she told me something that is feeling good to her lately. She had been working with a 3 sentence mantra for the past month and it was having a positive impact on her life. I cannot tell you the mantra because that belongs to her.

Her story got me thinking about Rosh Hashanah.  I find it hard to spiritually and psychologically connect to the Rosh Hashanah prayers. It can feel hard to turn the act of reading words into a spiritual experience.  Added to this, the words in the prayers can feel distant depending on how much the prayer book resonates with your personal sensibilities.   After the holiday, it is easy to feel that you completed a lot of reading but missed the spiritual experience of the holiday.

To help myself connect to the prayers this year, I collected a few sentences from the Rosh Hashanah prayers that I feel are particularly meaningful.  I made “Rosh Hasnanah prayer cards” that I could print and read during the high holidays.

Download the printer-friendly Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayer Cards here.

Good to be clear: I am not turning the prayers into mantras.  I am planning to focus on specific sentences during the Rosh Hashanah prayers when I find myself drifting. Perhaps this focus on meaningful words will make the holiday more spiritually and psychologically powerful.

Good to know:

  • I substitute the first person female or gender neutral pronouns when I read the prayers. I am praying as myself and since I am female changing the pronoun makes me feel included.  I do not do this when the prayers are communal (as in “we”).
  • I am not instructing/suggesting/advising you to read these instead of the prayers on Rosh Hashanah.
  • Below on my prayer sentence cards, I indicate the source for the prayer and where you can find the complete prayer.

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Let me proclaim the mighty holiness of this day.

  • Based on Unetanneh Tokef, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

The Book of Remembrance; my signature is in it.

  • Based on Unetanneh Tokef, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Repentance, Prayer and Charity.

  • Based on Unetanneh Tokef, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

What I do this day can change my life.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Perfection is not G-d’s demand.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

My noblest dreams are not absurd.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

I need not solve life’s every problem.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

I believe in the constancy of G-d’s compassion.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

The life of every person is important.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

My actions contain their own reward.

  • Based on Vechol Maaminim, Repetition of Musaf Prayer

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Here I stand painfully aware of my flaws.

  • Based on Cantor’s Personal Prayer before Musaf

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Each woman is responsible for her own teshuvah.

  • Based on Cantor’s Personal Prayer before Musaf

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Accept my prayer as though my voice never faltered.

  • Based on Cantor’s Personal Prayer before Musaf

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Free me from my own baggage that might get in the way.

  • Based on Cantor’s Personal Prayer before Musaf

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Transform my suffering into gladness.

  • Based on Cantor’s Personal Prayer before Musaf

Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayers

Your turn:  What Rosh Hashanah prayer do you add to this list?  

P.S. Download the printer-friendly Rosh Hashanah Centering Prayer Cards here.

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7 Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes that Kids Will Love (and you will too)

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Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes for Kids

Rosh Hashanah is the time when we eat symbolic foods to express our deepest hopes for a good year to come. For Rosh Hashanah (and every Jewish holiday), we can give our children healthy food as a sign of our love and care.

The healthiest foods are minimally processed fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, roots/tubers, intact whole grains, and legumes. These should make up most—if not all—of our daily calories.

Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes for Kids

Giving our children healthy food on Rosh Hashanah is auspicious.

On Rosh Hashanah, we say the Hebrew words “shana tova u’metukah,” which literally translates to may you have “a good and sweet new year.” A prerequisite for a good year is good physical and mental health. The food you serve to your children directly impacts their energy levels, weight, mental clarity and overall mood.

Shana Tov U'Metuka

Let’s fill our table with foods that improve our children’s physical and mental health.

Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes for Kids

Raw Apples

The simplest recipe of all. Raw apples are on your Rosh Hashanah table and easy to include it in your dessert line up for the holiday.

Apple and Honey Granola

Apple and Honey Granola

This oil-free granola recipe is simple to make and delicious to eat. It is perfect for the High Holidays. Enjoy with plant based milks for breakfast, as a topping on sorbet or as a snack.

Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes for Kids

Carrot Salad

Carrot salad can be an exciting dish on your Rosh Hashanah table. And most kids like carrots!

Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes for Kids

Healthier Bread

Yes, it is true that challah is part of the modern global Jewish script. And it is also true that eating challah does not feel good in the body. Challah is a very rich food and heavy in our children’s stomachs and in ours. We can serve healthy and delicious round bread for Rosh Hashanah. Here is a book that offers simple, healthy and delicious recipes.

Apple and Pumpkin Couscous

Baked Apple and Pumpkin Couscous

This grain based Rosh Hashanah recipe includes baked apples and pumpkin and raw carrots and cabbage. The apple tahini dressing is creamy and perfectly savory and sweet. The salad has color, crunch and flavor that children love.

Healthy Rosh Hashanah Recipes for Kids

Apple Cake

Try this healthier vegan apple cake recipe or this gluten free recipe. Your children will love it and you can feel good that they are eating healthier desserts.

If you like these recipes, you will love the The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant Based Recipes For Your Holiday Meals

Jewish Food Hero Cookbook // jewishfoodhero.com

Your turn: Tell us in the comments what healthy recipes your children love for Rosh Hashanah.

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From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Baked Apple and Pumpkin Couscous

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Apple and Pumpkin Couscous

This grain based Rosh Hashanah recipe includes baked apples and pumpkin and raw carrots and cabbage. The apple tahini dressing is creamy and perfectly savory and sweet. The salad has color, crunch and flavor. It is a wonderful healthy dish to add to your table for Rosh Hashanah (and all year around).

Apple and Pumpkin Couscous

From the Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Baked Apple and Pumpkin Couscous
Jewish Food Hero
Rate this recipe
Average: 0/5

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup couscous, medium sized grain (can replace with quinoa)
  • 1 cup diced red cabbage
  • 1 cup diced small carrot
  • 1 ½ cup diced baked pumpkin
  • 1 ½ cup diced baked apple
  • Optional:
  • ½ tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Apple Tahini Dressing:
  • Ingredients
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp water (optional)
    Tools:
  • Baking sheet
  • Blender
  • Citrus reamer
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Small 2- to 3-Quart Saucepan with Lid
  • Large salad bowl
  • Vegetable peeler

  1. Pre-heat oven at 400 F
  2. Coat a baking sheet with non-stick canola oil spray.
  3. Place the diced apple and pumpkin on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until soft (read not mushy).
  4. Dice the red cabbage and carrot.
  5. Make the dressing. If you like your salads with a lot of dressing, double the dressing recipe.
  6. Using a vegetable peeler, skin the apple. Using the same vegetable peeler, slice the apple into extra thin strips.
  7. Place 2 cups of water into the saucepan and add the apple slices. Cook until apple is soft and all the water is gone (approx 10 min.).
  8. Place the cooked apple in blender.
  9. Add all other ingredients, except the water, and blend until smooth.
  10. Depending on the consistency of the dressing, add 1-2 Tbsp water as needed.
  11. After you make the dressing:
  12. In a large salad bowl, combine the salad dressing and the carrot and red cabbage. Mix evenly
  13. Add the couscous and mix lightly and well (read do not mush).
  14. When the pumpkin and apple are cooled, add to the salad.
  15. Pay attention to mix lightly (read do not mush).
  16. Taste, and add ½ tsp salt and 1 Tbsp lemon juice to taste if desired.

If you love this recipe, you’ll love The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant Based Recipes For Your Holiday Meals

Jewish Food Hero Cookbook // jewishfoodhero.com

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From The Jewish Food Hero Kitchen: Healthy Apple and Honey Granola (Oil Free)

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Apple and Honey Granola

This oil-free granola recipe is simple to make and delicious to eat. It is perfect for the High Holidays. Enjoy with plant based milks for breakfast, as a topping on sorbet or as a snack.

Apple and Honey Granola

Healthy Apple and Honey Granola (Oil Free)
Jewish Food Hero
Rate this recipe
Average: 0/5
Category: granola

  • Ingredients:
  • 6 cups raw rolled oats
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 apples, cored and blended
  • ¼ cup raw honey (or any natural sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tsp tahini
    Tools:
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • Blender
  • Mixing spoon
  • 2 Large baking sheet (with edges)
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking spray

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C)
  2. Place diced apple, cinnamon, vanilla, honey and tahini in a good blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Place parchment onto two baking sheets and spray canola oil baking spray onto the parchment paper so the granola does not stick while baking.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over 5 cups of oats in your mixing bowl and mix using a spoon
  5. Place on one prepared baking tray.
  6. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the mixture is light brown and toasty.
  7. Make sure to stir every 10-15 minutes to make sure the granola is cooking evenly (pay special attention to the granola at the edges so that is does not burn).
  8. Meanwhile, on another baking tray, place 1 cups of oats with raisins and bake 10 min or until slightly brown.
  9. Mix together in a large bowl and allow to cool for 30 min.
  10. Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.

; Yield: 7 cups of granola

If you love this recipe, you’ll love The Jewish Food Hero Cookbook: 50 Simple Plant Based Recipes For Your Holiday Meals

Jewish Food Hero Cookbook // jewishfoodhero.com

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7 Rosh Hashanah Gifts that Women Actually Love

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Rosh Hashanah Gifts for Women

When I give a woman a gift, I want her to feel special.  My hope is that she will love what I have chosen for her and that the item will be one of her favorite things.

For a Rosh Hashanah gift this year, I have 7 ideas that women will love.  

When I was thinking about Rosh Hashanah gifts, I had three principles in mind

beautiful and functional  

ecological and special

edible and natural

Beautiful and functional

The annual Jewish holiday schedule is variable.  The actual dates of each holiday change every year.  So to keep track, Jewish women must have a Jewish holiday calendar.  This Jewish holiday calendar is functional and beautiful.

Rosh Hashanah Gifts

Ecological and Special

Cloth napkins are good for the environment, they bring a sensory element to the table and they make any meal feel special.  

Madder Root is a family owned company I discovered at the Maine Artisan Bread Fair in Skowhegan, Maine a few years ago.  These napkins are a go-to gift for me when I want to say “thank you”.

If you want to make something personalized, these monogrammed napkins on antique and vintage French Linen are beautiful.  Order early as they are made and ship from France.

Rosh Hashanah Gifts for Women

Edible and Natural

Honey makes a perfect gift as it is a symbolic food during Rosh Hashanah seder until Yom Kippur. We eat it to signify our wish for a sweet year ahead.  Raw honey is the best choice for our health (read about raw honey’s health attributes here)

Bee Raw Honey offers raw honey in glass jars and you can buy one of their curated honey “collections” as a beautiful and delicious gift.

Manuka honey is an amazing superfood.  This one is raw, unpasteurized and non-GMO Verified.  

Rosh Hashanah Gifts for Women

Almost every woman I interview in my “What’s In Your Pantry Series” reveals that they keep a stash of chocolate in their pantry.  Here are 2 chocolate gift ideas that would make most of the women I know smile.

Looking for a special vegan kosher truffle?  There is so much to feel good about with Dear Coco chocolates – they use only sustainable cocoa, environmental packaging and only natural ingredients.

Holy Cocoa is for the woman who is both serious and specific about her chocolate.  They offer so many percentage options – even 100%.  Plus their packaging includes beautiful drawn illustrations of chocolate making machinery.

Rosh Hashanah Gifts for Women

Your turn:  What do you think makes a perfect Rosh Hashanah gift from women?

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This Object Will Help You Feel More Jewish

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Jewish Holiday Calendar

For some Jewish women and families, they live holiday to holiday.  Their lives revolve around the Jewish calendar.

Jewish Holiday Calendar

For the rest of us, Jewish life and holidays is something we intentionally highlight.

Jewish Holiday Calendar

This Jewish holiday calendar is a Jewish touchstone for me.  

Jewish Holiday Calendar

This Jewish holiday calendar beautifies my environment as it helps me keep track of the holiday dates.  

Jewish Holiday Calendar

This Jewish holiday calendar helps me feel more connected to Judaism all year long.

Jewish Holiday Calendar

Your turn:  How do you keep track of the Jewish holiday dates?

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7 Rosh Hashanah Gifts That Children Love

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Rosh Hashanah Gifts

Last Passover, I had the honor of being invited to share the seder with a lovely family in Melbourne, Australia. There were so many wonderful elements of the seder and one in particular that made my daughter feel very special. The hostess prepared a “present bag” for each child at the seder. This made me think about how giving gifts to children can be used as an educational tool.

I am not suggesting that we turn Jewish holidays into a gift giving frenzy. Rather, we can use special things to teach and connect our children to the specific holiday and make them feel loved at the same time. Here are some ideas for ways to teach our children about Rosh Hashanah through fun and inexpensive presents.

Rosh Hashanah Gifts

Books

Toys are often played with a few times and then thrown away, but a good book will be read over and over and will be remembered for years to come.

Kids who don’t know much about Rosh Hashanah (yet) will enjoy learning about it from the perspective of the young narrator in On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride is a fun way to introduce the symbols of the holiday. I love that it also incorporates some Israeli geography. Apple Days is a story about Rosh Hashanah but also about family dynamics and unexpected surprises.

Jewish Calendar

Kids often live from holiday to holiday, but they don’t always know when the next one is. Displaying a Jewish holiday calendar in your home  is an excellent reminder of when each holiday is coming, and the beautiful graphics capture the essence of each special day.

Rosh Hashanah Gifts

Activity Books

Holidays often coincide with school vacation days, so I like the idea of activity books for keeping kids busy and involved with the holiday at the same time. Rosh Hashanah Activity Book for Kids is packed with a variety of fun things to do, all holiday-themed. The Family and Adult Coloring Book for Relaxation and Meditation is a nice way to spend quiet down some time during the holiday or in the days leading up to it.

Yum

Children love raw honey sticks.  Here is a raw, kosher honey stick that is perfect for children to enjoy during the High Holidays.

Your turn:  Share a children’s gift idea for Rosh Hashanah with us in the comments below.

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29 Day Elul Introspection Challenge (+ Worksheet with Prompts)

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Elul Introspection Challenge

Elul is supposedly a month which is meant to be dedicated to introspection and positive change, but it often passes by without us even noticing. Weekday synagogue attendees might be inspired by the daily shofar blasts and extra prayers (called selichot), but this doesn’t seem to apply to most women.  

It is easy to forget that Elul is an introspective opportunity.

To help us, I created a 29 Day Elul Introspection Challenge. There’s a reflective prompt for each day for you to consider.

I used the “wheel of life” idea (this is a coaching tool that I use with clients) to create categories.  These categories are one way of describing the parts of our life.

You can write your answers in a journal or simply reflect in your head on each one for a few minutes a day. Keep the list on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror, or night table to be sure you’ll see it during the day or before you go to sleep.

Here are the 29 prompts to support you.

Download the printer-friendly 29 Day Elul Introspection Challenge Guide here.

Elul Introspection

Health

What does my healthy life to look like?

Which food/movement habits sabotage my best intentions for health?

What physical movement activities do I enjoy the most?

What unhelpful habit would I most like to be rid of?

Elul Introspection

Work

What role does work play in the kind of life that I want this year?

What are my 3-5 primary professional interests?

What education or training do I secretly wish I could pursue?

Elul Introspection

Money

Am I spending money on things that really matter to me?

Do I set a good financial example for my children?

What was the last thing I regret buying and why?

If I am being honest with myself, which part of my finances do I need help with?

Elul Introspection

Family

What does a “happy family” life look like to me?

How does my family “play” together?

If I were to initiate a family meeting, what would my agenda be?

What does each member of my family need most? How can I help provide it?

What family rituals can I add to increase family connectedness?

Elul Introspection

Friendship

What role do friends play in my life today?

How do I most like to spend time with my friends?

What are two ways I can connect more with my community and friends?

What 2 people do I want to spend more time with in the coming months?

Elul Introspection

Joy

Name 3-5 things I love to do just for me.

How can I re-think my schedule to fit more things I love into my daily live?

What 3 specific habits are sapping my energy?

Elul Introspection

Spirituality

What are the top three blessings in my life?

What unsupportive thought would I like to banish from my mind? How can I reframe it positively?

If I could do one personal growth activity in the next 3 months, which activity would I do?

Love

What are 3-5 things I like/love about my partner?

If I asked my partner how I could be a better partner, what are 3 things they would say?

What are my 2-3 favorite things to do with my partner?

What is one thing I wish we did together every week?

Remember, you can download and type in your answers to the worksheet prompts, or you may print out the worksheet and write your answers by hand.

Download the printer-friendly 29 Day Elul Introspection Challenge Guide here.

Your turn:  What supportive introspective prompt can you add to this list?

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