Create Cultural Understanding In Your Classroom This Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, begins on the evening of Wednesday, September 20. For many Jewish families, Rosh Hashanah is about sharing quality time with loved ones, reflecting on the past year and acknowledging the start of a new one.
At Newsela, we believe in honoring and celebrating the experience of every student. Students benefit when they can understand and appreciate the customs and traditions of every classmate. That’s why we publish articles about many religious traditions, from Easter to the Holi Festival to the Jewish High Holidays. Information breeds empathy, and building empathy in the youngest minds is one of the best ways to weed out hatred and intolerance from our society.
You can bring Rosh Hashanah into any classroom. To help students understand the meaning of Rosh Hashanah, we’ve put together two text sets of articles — one is focused on the theme of New Beginnings, another is focused around how time is marked in different ways across different cultures.
With the New Beginnings Text Set, you can ask: What does it mean to different people and communities to start over? Was the new beginning a choice? What challenges and hurdles did the person or group in the article overcome?
The Marking Time Text Set allows you to host a Socratic seminar with your students, allowing them to think critically about how time is kept and why.
These resources will help your students think about how new years and new beginnings work in their own lives: What are we hoping for this school year? To whom can we turn when the going gets tough, and with whom can we celebrate the victories?
A world of greater understanding and empathy starts right here, in your classrooms. Let’s celebrate that together. L’shana Tovah.