How to make the most of (another) hybrid High Holidays: DIY’s, resources and tips

The High Holidays are right around the corner. Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, is meant for reflection and reconnecting with our spiritual side. It’s also meant for planning out our holiday celebrations and envisioning the year ahead.

As we plan our holidays, it may be hard to believe that this will be our second High Holiday season since the beginning of COVID-19. Depending on where in the world you are, the holidays will most likely look different than they did before. All of us in the Jewish community are still learning how to navigate pandemic life. 

“The pandemic has accelerated the desire for people to connect with tradition and to encounter spaces in Jewish life where we can bring our whole selves,” explains Rebecca Missel, Director of Partnerships & Operations at HighHolidays@Home. 

HighHolidays@Home is a digital platform for creating DIY High Holiday rituals at home. On their site, users can create all sorts of DIY booklets

“Our site is here to help you make and publish your own Rosh Hashanah seder, Yom Kippur rituals or Sukkot experience in a way that reflects your Jewish values and spiritual practice,” says Missel.

Whether you’ll be celebrating at home, at synagogue, or a combination of the two, we spoke with Missel to gather her best tips and resources for another ‘hybrid’ High Holidays.

Create a sacred space at home

We’ve all been spending a lot of time at home. To make your home feel special for the Holidays, here’s a guide to making a holy space at home. Plus, verses and blessings to create your space. 

HighHolidays@Home/Artwork by Jessica Tamar Deutsch

Create your own Rosh Hashanah seder booklet

Nope, seder’s aren’t just for Passover! On Rosh Hashanah, it’s customary to have a festive meal, known as the Rosh Hashanah seder. Traditional foods, like apples and honey, known as simanim (signs), are served. 

Using HighHolidays@Home, you can create your own DIY seder booklet (or use one of theirs) and include just traditional customs or add new ones.

Here’s a sample template: Rosh Hashanah Seder + Tashlich

Download one of these coloring booklets

Coloring is not just for kids. In fact, It’s been proven to help with reducing stress and anxiety. So why not get yourself in the Rosh Hashanah mindest with this adorable coloring book? Rebecca says this is one of the most popular downloads from HighHolidays@Home. 

They also have an equally adorable Sukkot coloring book. Pull these pages out, use them as placemats for the kids table (or your table, we don’t judge), or add them into your Sukkah. Don’t forget the crayons!

Make your own ritual

You can customize any of the templates on HighHolidays@Home. From High Holiday poems to Sukkah DIY’s and activities or ways to make your Yom Kippur rituals more meaningful, there’s something for everyone. 

What will your ‘hybrid’ High Holiday look like? Tell us on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter @JewishUnpacked 

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