Rosh Hashanah greetings: How to wish your Jewish friends a happy new year

Rosh Hashanah is a perfect time to acknowledge your Jewish friends, colleagues and classmates with a holiday greeting.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is right around the corner. This year it falls on Monday, September 6 through the evening of Wednesday, September 8. The new year is one of the most important days on the Jewish calendar, so Rosh Hashanah is a perfect time to acknowledge your Jewish friends, colleagues and classmates with a holiday greeting. 

(Rosh Hashanah starts Monday night! Here’s a last minute checklist to help you get ready!)

There are several different ways to wish someone a happy new year or greet someone on Rosh Hashanah. You can simply say “Happy new year,” “Happy holiday” or use one of the following:

Shana tova (Have a good year)

Shana tova is the most common greeting around the High Holidays. It directly translates to “Have a good year” in Hebrew and is akin to saying “Happy new year” around December and January.

L’shana tova (For a good year)

L’shana tova is a different (slightly fancier) way of saying shana tova. It directly translates to “for a good year” in Hebrew, so it’s can be understood as “wishing you a good year.”

Shana tovah u’metukah (Have a good and sweet year)

Shana tovah u’metukah means “have a good and sweet year” in Hebrew. You’ll notice that ‘sweetness’ is a theme of the holiday. For example, Jews traditionally dip apples in honey on Rosh Hashanah to express the wish for a sweet new year. 

While eating apples and honey, or any assortment of sweet foods on Rosh Hashanah, you might hear Jewish people exclaim: “Shana tovah u’metukah!”

Chag sameach (Happy holiday)

Chag sameach means happy holiday in Hebrew. Sweet and simple.

A zis gebentsht yor (Yiddish)

“A zis gebentsht yor” means a sweet year filled with blessings in Yiddish.