Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rosh Hashanah - The Jewish New Year

The New Year
by Isidor Kaufmann
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 28 this year. Rosh Hashanah is a time of judgment and remembrance, on which God reviews and judges a person's deeds in the past year. It is a time of prayer and penitence. All debts from the past year are supposed to be settled before Rosh Hashanah.

It marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and covers two of the 10 High Holy days that conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.


The food eaten and shared during Rosh Hashanah is very symbolic.

  • Apples dipped in honey - A wish for a sweet year.
  • Fish Heads – The desire to be on top, not the bottom of life in the New Year.
  • Pomegranates -  Health, happiness and plenty because of their numerous seeds.
  • Challah – Bread made with honey and raisins are another symbol of a sweet and happy year. Some decorate the Challah with birds, such as the dove symbolizing peace. It also symbolizes the cycle of the year.

The above information was gathered from the following websites:

I offer you some resources to help you celebrate the Jewish New Year.


Capturing the MoonA story from Chelm. One of my favorite stories to share.

Fetzer Institute - Nine Jewish folktales high lightening generosity of spirit.

Jewish Fairy Tales and  Legends by Gertrude Landa, 1919.  “This book is based on tales from the Talmud and Midrash. While some of the themes are familiar from fairy-tales and folklore from other traditions, the stories in this collection are infused with the perennial Jewish struggle for survival and dignity, as well as a large helping of gentle humor.”

The Golden Mountain by Meyer Levin, 1932. “This is a collection of tales of the Eastern European Hassidic Jews, centering on the holy men Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlaw.” - Since apples are an important symbol in the celebration this link will lead you to a previous blog post on apples with stories, lesson plans and more.


Annotated Bibliography of Jewish Story Collections -
An extensive PDF file of resources compiled by Penninah Schram.

The Best Kids Booksite
– Lots of wonderful book suggestions to share with your students and children.

Sources for Jewish Folktales and Stories
A PDF bibliography of books and videos for adults and children.


Perpetual Preschool - Easy crafts for preschool and up. – Six crafts from simple to a little more challenging.


Akhlah: The Jewish Children’s Learning Network  – Amazing website with information and resources on all of the Jewish holiday and High Holy Days. – Lesson plans, crafts and coloring pages.


Rosh Hashanah Songs

Karen Chace
© 2011
This blog post was painstakingly researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my newsletter via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Public Domain III - Folktales, Fairy Tales, Legends and Myths

by Edmund Dulac
This is the third in a series of blog posts offering books that are now in the public domain. Some are found on the particular websites, others via Google Books. You may download many of them directly to your computer and in some instances to your Kindle or e-reader. I will be sharing more in the future but for now, on your mark, get set, read!!

The Algonquin Legends of New England by Charles G. Leland, 1894.  “This work contains a collection of the myths, legends, and folk-lore of the principal Wabanaki, or Northeastern Algonquin, Indians…”

Among the Meadow People by Clara Dillingham Pierson, 1901 .

Chinese Wonder Book - Meet The Nodding Tiger, The Man Who Would Not Scold, among others in these fifteen stories from Norman Hinsdale Pitman, c. 1919.

Cossack Fairy Tales and Folktales by Robert Nisbet Bain, 1902 – Bain collected these folktales from Ruthenian, the language of the Cossacks, a language intermediate between Russian and Polish.

Danish Fairy Tales – Forty-six tales collected by J. Christian Bay, 1899 –  “May this train of Danish Kings and queens, wise men and fools, princes and beggars…may they all be kindly welcomed…”

Fairy Tales of the Allied Nations by Edmund Dulac, 1916. Some of the stories will be familiar to storytellers but others are new gems. The illustrations make the reading even more enjoyable.
"This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at .”

The Fairy Tales of Marie-Catherine d´Aulony -Marie-Catherine lived in France during the time of Charles Perrault but her tales were shared in a more conversational style and usually featured a female protagonist. Many of her works were collected by Andrew Lang in his Fairy Books.

The Golden Mountain by Meyer Levin, 1932 -  “A collection of tales of the Eastern European Hassidic Jews, centering on the holy men Baal Shem Tov and Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlaw…these magical realist stories of the Hassidic rabbis are encoded with deeper levels of meaning similar to Buddhist, Sufi, Celtic, and other spiritual traditions.”

Green Willow and other Japanese Fairy Tales by Grace Adams, 1910 – Thirty eight stories from the Land of the Rising Sun, complemented by the gorgeous illustrations of Warwick Goble.

Indian Why Stories – Sparks from War Eagle’s Lodge-Fire – Twenty-two stories collected by Frank B. Linderman, 1915.

More Australian Legendary Folktales by Katie Langloh Parker from 1898.

Myths and Legends of Our Own Land by Charles M. Skinner, 1896

Persian Tales by David Lockhard Roertson Lorimer, 1910 - Once upon a time there was a time when there was no one but God…so begins many of these wonderful stories from Persia. There is also a section vocabulary and pronunciation section at the end of the book.

The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children, by Jane Andrews, 1888

Summer Legends by Rudolph Baumbach, Translated by Helen B. Dole, c.1888. Twenty-two legends to celebrate the season including The Legend of the Daisy, The Clover Leaf, and more.

Tales of Laughter from 1908. A collection tales from Ireland, Spain, France, Russia and other countries from around the globe. They are sure to have you smiling with delight!

And if you missed the previous blog posts of public domain story collections go to:

© Karen Chace, 2011