photo of a student blowing a plastic shofar

High Holiday Resources

Make your Jewish High Holiday experience accessible and meaningful for everyone in your family or classroom! Browse and download free High Holiday resources for children and teens with disabilities and diverse learning needs, prepared by Gateways’ experienced special education teachers.

High Holiday Blessings

Illustrating each word of the blessing with a symbol makes it more accessible and understandable for pre-readers and those with disabilities and diverse learning needs. Use these downloadable blessing printouts to learn a blessing’s meaning, follow along, and recite the blessing.

The blessings are written out here in three ways: large print Hebrew text, an English transliteration accompanied by Picture Communication Symbols®, and a simple English translation.

Blessing for Lighting the Candles

picture symbol of a hand lighting a candle

Blessing for Apples and Other Fruit

drawing of a bunch of apples

Blessing for Hearing the Shofar

drawing of a shofar

Kiddush — Blessing over Wine

picture symbol of a kiddush cup

Shehecheyanu — Blessing for New Things

prayer symbol for shehecheyanu, which shows a flower pot with one old wilting flower and one new one, with an arrow pointing to the new flower

Build Your Own High Holiday Social Story

Customize your very own High Holiday social story by printing out sections that are of interest and assembling them into a single book or a little library of short stories. You may also want to add in some of our general going-to-temple social stories.

Blowing the Shofar

image symbol of person blowing the shofar

What to Think and Do if the Shofar Sounds Too Loud

image symbol for noise

Going to High Holiday Services Online

image symbol of a person going to online services

We Go to Temple on Rosh Hashanah

picture symbol of three people going to temple

People Say “Shanah Tovah” on Rosh Hashanah

image symbol of two people greeting each other

We Go to Temple on Yom Kippur

picture symbol of three people going to temple

My Parents May Fast on Yom Kippur

image symbol for fasting

What “Breaking the Fast” Means

High Holiday Activities

High Holiday Services Bingo

Staying engaged during High Holiday services might be even more difficult for children when services are online.  Help them to stay focused with these fun High Holiday bingo cards!  Whenever they hear a word on their boards, they can cross it off or cover it with a pre-cut square of paper.

image of high holiday bingo card

Apple and Honey Pattern Activity

Students complete patterns of apples and jars of honey, helping them learn to associate these tasty snacks with the High Holidays.

image symbol for apples and honey pattern matching activity

Shofar Puzzle

In this activity, students put together all of the pieces to complete a picture of a shofar, helping them to become more familiar with this object we use on the High Holidays.

photo of a shofar

Weighing Our Deeds Activity

In this activity, students sort out the mitzvot and good deeds from the things that we apologize for doing.

High Holiday Crafts

Apple Print Rosh Hashanah Cards

This fun, tactile activity helps children associate Rosh Hashanah with its traditional snack of apples.

photo of apple print cards

Write Your Rosh Hashanah Messages

Writing Rosh Hashanah cards can be an excellent opportunity for children to practice communicating with their friends and family. Children who are pre-readers, non-verbal, or have physical disabilities are empowered to compose a holiday message with the help of the Tobii Dynavox Picture Communication Symbols®.

photo of a rosh hashanah message card

Pomanders for Yom Kippur

This sweet-smelling High Holiday craft is also a wonderful fine motor activity! In the past, people made pomanders, also known as clove apples, to bring to synagogue on Yom Kippur, as the fragrance of the apple and cloves helped ease hunger and revive people who were feeling faint.

photo of apple pomander activity

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