Jewish Holiday season will start this month in Israel with Rosh Hashanah on September 20. What is Rosh Hashanah, and what can you do in Israel during the holidays? Here are a few pointers.

Pomegranate fruit and a shofar ready for the holiday

Pomegranate fruit and a shofar ready for the holiday Photo Credit: Flash90/Gershon Elinson

A new Jewish year is upon us- 5778, to be exact. The period from Rosh Hashanah, landing this year on September 20, and until Yom Kippur ten days later is the time for people to enter a new year with a clean slate. In the Jewish tradition, this is the time to reflect on the year that past, right your wrongs and apologize to loved ones.

Some may associate the holiday with the ubiquitous shofar, the ram’s horn that is blown during holiday prayers and whose sound is unmissable. Other symbols of the holiday include the deliciously sweet pomegranate fruit, traditionally eaten with family during the holiday meal and the not so delicious (though individual tastes may vary) fish head.

For Israelis, the holiday brings forth the beginning of the long holiday season and with the approaching autumn winds breaking August’s heat, is the perfect time to take time off from work and spend time with your family. At this time of year, fun activities around are abundant. In northern Israel, there is plenty of kid-friendly and water filled fun. You can choose to go for a short hike in Nahal Kziv in Western Galilee, one of the few perennial streams in the area, and enjoy icy water and shade. There are also organized family tours in the area that combine ancient history and fun activities for kids.

From there, you can hop over to Kfar Masaryk and enjoy nostalgic kibbutz fun with a halutzim festival taking place on Saturday, September 23, between 10 AM and 1 PM, where you and your family can enjoy Israeli hora dancing, singing Israeli music and art and history activities.

Traditional holiday meal

Traditional holiday meal Photo Credit: Flash90/Mendy Hechtman

In Haifa, Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space has science-based activities for children indoors. If you prefer to be in the Jerusalem area, activities such as strawberry picking and fondue making are waiting in Ramat Rachel on September 20th and October 8th and 10.

In Tel Aviv, a variety of attractions will take place in Shuk Tzafon in the northern part of the city, including free theater performances for children throughout the month and the holidays. Also in central Israel, you can go to Havat Hama’alef for horse and pony rides for the whole family.

Southern Israel also has a lot to offer, including baking activities and honey tasting in Yad Mordechai on the weekends before the holiday and during the holiday itself, and at “Philip Farm” in the Negev desert, you can take donkey rides and enjoy authentic Bedouin food. What are you waiting for?