Yes, Rosh Hashanah Dinner Can Be Fun!

Apples RH DinnerIf synagogue services are part of your Rosh Hashanah experience, you will have plenty of visual and auditory drama. The sound of the Shofar blast. The Torah scrolls dressed in white. The pews filled to capacity.

You can also make your Rosh Hashanah dinner at home full of spectacle – and fun.

Shofar blowing

Last year, we learned about using Bugles as pretend shofars (shofrot).  Our daughter gave us all a quick refresher on each type of shofar blast, then called out for us:

  • Tekiah! (one long single blast),
  • Shevarim! (three shorter blasts),
  • Teruah! (nine quick staccato blasts) and, finally,
  • Tekiah G’dolah! (a single unbroken blast that you hold as long as your breath lasts)

And we all (I mean everyone, from the toddler to the grandparents) picked up our Bugles and blew.

Round, round, round

One of the key concepts for Rosh Hashanah is round – round challah, round year, round apples.

So make a game out of serving round foods. If your kids shop and plan with you, get their input. Then, at the meal, see who can guess the most rounds.

Here are a few super easy ideas:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber slices
  • Green and yellow squash slices
  • Canteloupe balls
  • Apples (of course!)
  • Doughnut holes
  • Baked apples or round brownies (for dessert)

Want to do something a little more adventuresome? Check out these wonderful options on our Rosh Hashanah Pinterest page:

  • Zucchini, carrot and cashew salad rolls
  • Apples hollowed out with honey inside for dipping
  • Tomato pops made with mozzarella balls

Planning an adult Rosh Hashanah party? Here are Rosh Hashanah drinks for grown-ups, including pomegranate sangria.

Sweet way to kick off the year

I’m a huge honey lover. Always have been. When I was a kid, we didn’t have maple syrup in the house. Honey was for pancakes, French toast, hot tea.

So to have a holiday that uses honey as a key element is fabulous. I pour amber honey into round crystal bowls that were my grandparents’. Each person has his/her own little bowl for dipping challah and apples.

And, how lucky can we get? September is national honey month.

After dinner parade

Keep the merriment going after dinner with this wonderful video called “Dip Your Apple” from the Fountainheads. We must have listened to this 100 times, because our toddler grandson loves it!

Watch a few times, then invite everyone to join in a parade – even better if you can walk in a circle inside your house!

bYou know how Christmas fruit cakes are often the subject of jokes – it’s too dry, it gets re-gifted repeatedly? Well, honey cake – a traditional treat for Rosh Hashanah – has had its share of similar criticism. If you have a honey cake recipe you love, please send it in. No one will be sad if I don’t reprise my from-scratch honey-and-spice cake from last Rosh Hashanah!

Please share this post with friends and family who’d like to have more fun at Rosh Hashanah dinner this year.

Shana Tova!


  1. says

    Your dinner and celebration is wonderful. I love the idea of counting the round foods. Just stopping by from the GRAND Social Linky Party. While I am not Jewish I always learn something interesting when I stop by. Thanks for sharing.

    • Ellen says

      Thanks so much, Grandma Kc. I visited your blog. Wow – living only 1 mile from Amara. How incredibly special and wonderful! And I know we share a great joy in being grandmas!

  2. says

    I went to a seder dinner some years ago and the thing I noticed was how it was part of the tradition to explain the various traditions as part of the dinner. What a great way to pass on traditions.

    • Ellen says

      What an interesting observation, Carol! Yes, even short Haggadahs (the ones that tell the Passover story) tell us to explain the key symbols and traditions. Makes me want to tick back mentally through our other holiday observances to see if we’re doing that during those, as well! Great reminder. Thanks for sharing.

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