High Holiday Resources

Browse and download free High Holiday resources for kids, prepared by Gateways' experienced special education teachers: High Holiday Blessings with Visual Supports, High Holiday Social Stories (including customizable Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur social stories), High Holiday Related Social Skills Support, Make Your Own High Holiday File Folder Activity Kits, and High Holiday Crafts with creative ideas for adapting for different types of learners.  We'd love to hear your feedback!

High Holiday Blessings with Visual Supports

Blessings with visual supports were created to help make blessings simple, accessible, and understandable for students with a variety of disabilities. In these files, each Hebrew phrase is illustrated by a simple symbol (we use Mayer-Johnson picture symbols). Students with disabilities can follow along with each blessing and learn to understand its meaning using symbol blessings. Assemble these blessings into a High Holiday book, or use them to create file folder activities.


Blessing in picture symbols

Blessing for Apples and Other Fruit

Blessing for apples and other fruit in Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation with visual representation.

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Tagged under: high holidays, rosh hashanah, blessings with visual supports, visual supports


Candle blessing in picture symbols

Blessing for Lighting the Candles on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Blessing for lighting the candles on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation with visual representation.

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Tagged under: high holidays, rosh hashanah, yom kippur, blessings with visual supports, visual supports


Kiddush with picture symbols

Kiddush (Blessing over wine/grape juice)

Kiddush (blessing over wine/grape juice) in Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation with visual representation.

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Tagged under: high holidays, rosh hashanah, shabbat, blessings with visual supports, visual supports, all holidays


Motzi with picture symobls

Motzi (Blessing over challah)

Motzi in Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation with visual representation.

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Tagged under: high holidays, rosh hashanah, shabbat, blessings with visual supports, visual supports, all holidays


Shehecheyanu in picture symbols

Shehecheyanu

Shehecheyanu in Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation with visual representation.

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Tagged under: high holidays, rosh hashanah, yom kippur, b'nei mitzvah, all holidays, blessings with visual supports, visual supports


Blessing for hearing the shofar in picture symbols

Blessing for Hearing the Shofar

Blessing for hearing the shofar in Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation with visual representation.

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Tagged under: high holidays, rosh hashanah, yom kippur, visual supports, blessings with visual supports


High Holiday Social Stories

Children with disabilities can feel anxious about unfamiliar situations and events. Social stories can set them up for success by showing children what to expect.

The Temple Book cover with picture of synagogue

The Temple Book

Let's go to temple! This story helps prepare children for a trip to temple by telling them what events to expect, naming the people and items they will see, and explaining what behavior is expected of them. When children know what will happen in temple they will be less anxious and more likely to have a successful day.  This story is not specific to the High Holidays but is a great preparatory tool to use in conjunction with the High Holiday specific stories below.

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Tagged under: high holidays, yom kippur, rosh hashanah, synagogue skills, shabbat, behavior



Customize Your Own Rosh Hashanah Social Story

There are so many High Holiday topics to explore with your children--too many to fit into just one story! Now you can customize your very own Rosh Hashanah social story by printing out only the sections below that are of interest to you and your child and assembling them into a single book. If your child focuses best in short spurts, print out each story individually to make a little library of short High Holiday social stories.


Picture symbol of poeple walking into shul

We Go To Temple on Rosh Hashanah

This story briefly introduces the holiday of Rosh Hashanah and explains that people go to temple on Rosh Hashanah. This can be used as an introduction to almost any of the Rosh Hashanah Social Stories.

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Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, synagogue skills


Picture symbols of clothing articles to wear to temple

People Wear Special Clothes to Temple

This story describes the nice clothes that people wear to temple. It also explains that people in temple wear kippot and tallitot. This story will be helpful for children who may be anxious about a change in their normal dressing routine. It may also help children who like to plan what they want to wear in advance.

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Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, synagogue skills


Two people shaking hands

People Say Shanah Tovah on Rosh Hashanah

This story describes how people greet each other at temple and explains the meaning of the Hebrew phrase "Shanah Tovah," which means "have a good year." This story is useful for children who want to practice their social skills.

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Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, communication skills, social skills


Picture symbol of girl standing holding prayer book

How People Behave in Temple

This story briefly explains that people in temple need to stay in their seats and have quiet voices. Clearly outlining the behavior that is expected in temple is helpful to children with disabilities. In addition to reviewing this story before going to temple, parents may bring it to temple if their children would benefit from reminders of what proper temple behavior looks like.

 

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, behavior, synagogue skills


Anxious face

Things I Can Do During a Long Service

Sitting through High Holiday services can be a challenge for anyone! This story suggests some appropriate activities to keep children from becoming bored during a long service. Fill-in-the-blanks encourage parents and children to talk in advance about how they plan to stay occupied.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, behavior, synagogue skills


Boy reach out to man holding Torah

The Torah Service

This story describes the Torah service. This story can be used to prepare children to participate by touching the Torah during the procession. This story is helpful for children who are anxious about going to temple because it lets them know what to expect.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, behavior, synagogue skills


Picture symbol open prayer book

What are Prayers?

This story explains that we talk to God by praying and explains why some prayers are in Hebrew. By explaining why we pray, this story may make saying prayers a more meaningful activity for children.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, synagogue skills


Boy sitting with prayer book and girl standing with prayer book

How People Pray

This story describes the different ways people say prayers: standing up, sitting down, singing, talking, whispering. It also reassures children that the Rabbi will usually give instructions about how to say a prayer. This story is helpful for children who are anxious about going to temple because it lets them know what to expect.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, synagogue skills


Picture symbol of person blowing shofar

Blowing the Shofar

This story explains what the shofar is and describes the different kinds of shofar blasts. This story is helpful for children who are anxious about going to temple because it lets them know what to expect. It might also be an enjoyable read for students who love listening to the shofar.

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Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, behavior, synagogue skills, sensory


Smiling children covering ears with hands and headphones

What to Think and Do If the Shofar Sounds Too Loud

Many children with disabilities are sensitive to loud noises. This story reassures children that loud noises are safe. It also gives children useful suggestions about what to do if the noise makes them feel scared or uncomfortable.

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Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, behavior, synagogue skills, sensory


Proud face

I Went to Temple!

Catch your child being good! This social story praises children for going to temple. Such praise helps make going to temple a positive experience. This story also allows children and parents to review what they did in temple that day.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, rosh hashanah, behavior, synagogue skills



Customize Your Own Yom Kippur Social Story

There are so many High Holiday topics to explore with your children--too many to fit into just one story! Now you can customize your very own Yom Kippur social story by printing out only the sections below that are of interest to you and your child and assembling them into a single book. If your child focuses best in short spurts, print out each story individually to make a little library of short High Holiday social stories.


Picture symbol of poeple walking into synagogue

We Go To Temple on Yom Kippur

This story briefly introduces the holiday of Yom Kippur and explains that people go to temple on Yom Kippur. This can be used as an introduction to almost any of the Yom Kippur Social Stories.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, synagogue skills


Food crossed out

My Parents May Fast on Yom Kippur

This story describes what fasting means and why people fast on Yom Kippur. It also explains that people who fast might be tired and need a chance to rest. This story is helpful for children who are anxious about changes in their family's routine. It is also helpful for children who are curious about why mom and dad aren't eating breakfast with them.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur


Picture symbol child eating

Children Do Not Fast on Yom Kippur

This story explains why children do not fast on Yom Kippur and gives suggestions about other ways children can observe the holiday. This story is useful for children who might want to fast like their parents.

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Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur


Picture symbols of clothing articles to wear to temple

People Wear Special Clothes on Yom Kippur

This story describes the nice clothes that people wear to temple. It also describes some of the special clothes that they may see people wearing on Yom Kippur, such as kittels and sneakers. This story will be helpful for children who may be anxious about a change in their normal dressing routine. This story is also helpful for children who might be curious about why people in temple are wearing "funny clothes."

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur


Picture symbol people talking to each other

People Say Have an Easy Fast on Yom Kippur

This story describes how people greet each other at temple and explains why people often greet each other with the phrase: "Have an easy fast." This story is useful for children who want to practice their social skills.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, communication skills, social skills


Boy standing in temple

How People Behave in Temple

This story briefly explains that people in temple need to stay in their seats and have quiet voices. Clearly outlining the behavior that is expected in temple is helpful to children with disabilities. In addition to reviewing this story before going to temple, parents may bring it to temple if their children would benefit from reminders of what proper temple behavior looks like.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, behavior, synagogue skills


Anxious face

Things I Can Do During a Long Service

Sitting through High Holiday services can be a challenge for anyone! This story suggests some appropriate activities to keep children from becoming bored during a long service. Fill-in-the-blanks encourage parents and children to talk in advance about how they plan to stay occupied.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, behavior, synagogue skills


Boy sitting with prayer book

The Torah Service

This story describes the Torah service. This story can be used to prepare children to participate by touching the Torah during the procession. This story is helpful for children who are anxious about going to temple because it lets them know what to expect.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, synagogue skills


Picture symbol open prayer book

What are Prayers?

This story explains that we talk to God by praying and explains why some prayers are in Hebrew. By explaining why we pray, this story may make saying prayers a more meaningful activity for children.

 

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, synagogue skills


Picture symbol talking and singing

How People Pray

This story describes the different ways people say prayers: standing up, sitting down, singing, talking, whispering. It also reassures children that the Rabbi will usually give instructions about how to say a prayer. This story is helpful for children who are anxious about going to temple because it lets them know what to expect.

 

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, synagogue skills


Picture symbol sunset

What "Breaking the Fast" Means

This story explains the meaning of the phrase "breaking the fast." This story is helpful for children on the autism spectrum who sometimes have trouble understanding figurative language.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, synagogue skills, autism


Proud face

I Went to Temple!

Catch your child being good! This social story praises children for going to temple. Such praise helps make going to temple a positive experience. This story also allows children and parents to review what they did in temple that day.

Download

Tagged under: social stories, high holidays, yom kippur, synagogue skills


High Holiday Related Social Skills

Two people with arms around each other

Why People Apologize

Yom Kippur is a perfect time to review the important social skill of apologizing. This social story explains when to apologize, how to apologize, and how apologizing makes people feel better.

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Tagged under: social skills, behavior, high holidays, yom kippur, social stories, autism


Steps to accept an apology in picture symbols

How to Accept an Apology

This document presents three steps of accepting an apology accompanied by simple boardmaker illustration. It is can be used for Yom Kippur or any time during the year. This document accompanies our social story "It is a Smart Choice to Apologize"

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Tagged under: social skills, behavior, high holidays, yom kippur, visual supports, autism


Steps to apologize in picture symbols

How to Apologize

This document presents three steps of making an apology accompanied by simple boardmaker illustration. It is can be used for Yom Kippur or any time during the year. This document accompanies our social story "It is a Smart Choice to Apologize"

Download

Tagged under: social skills, behavior, high holidays, yom kippur, visual supports, autism


High Holiday File Folder Activities

File folder activities can help children review ideas and familiarize them with Jewish objects. Since they are inexpensive and relatively easy to make, you can accumulate a large stack of file folder activities in no time! The visual nature of file folder activities takes advantage of the visual strengths of children with autism and many other developmental disabilities. Click for the Gateways Guide to Making File Folder Activities.

The High Holiday File Folder Guide for Parents provides tips for parents about how they can use High Holiday file folder activities at home to help their child prepare for and participate in Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur rituals.

The File Folder Guide for Teachers gives teachers specific tips for using file folder activities in the classroom. It also gives special instructions for helping students to make their own file folder activities, and tips for storing and organizing your classroom file folder activity library.

Each file folder activity listed below is presented with a photograph of the activity and a downloadable kit that includes visual instructions and the materials to make your own!


color match red and green apples

Color Match Apples Activity

Match the images of red and green apples based on their color. This activity will help students associate apples with Rosh Hashanah.

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Tagged under: file folder activities, activities for kids, visual supports, high holidays, rosh hashanah, autism


Image of child blowing shofar in different color clothing

Color Match Blowing Shofar Activity

Match the children blowing the shofar based on the color of their clothing. This activity will familiarize students with the shofar and the idea that we blow the shofar during the High Holidays.

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Tagged under: file folder activities, activities for kids, visual supports, high holidays, yom kippur, rosh hashanah, autism


Sort red and green apples into sections

Color Sort Apples Activity

Sort the photographs of red and green apples based on their color. This activity will help students associate apples with Rosh Hashanah.

Download

Tagged under: file folder activities, activities for kids, visual supports, high holidays, rosh hashanah, autism


Sesame street characters holding apples and honey

Group Apples and Honey Activity with Sesame Street Friends

Telly, Oscar, Big Bird and Elmo each need to have an an apple and honey so they can celebrate having a sweet new year! Different-shaped pieces help cue students to give the correct items to each character. The shapes also help students correct themselves independently if they make an error.

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Tagged under: file folder activities, activities for kids, visual supports, high holidays, rosh hashanah, autism


apples and honey patterns

Complete the Pattern Activity

Complete the patterns of apples and honey in this High Holiday-themed activity.

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Tagged under: file folder activities, high holidays, rosh hashanah, activities for kids, autism


Match photos of shofar, challah, honey, apple

Photo Match Rosh Hashanah Symbols

This activity features photographs of the objects we use to celebrate the High Holidays and to welcome the new year. It will help to familiarize students with these objects. Additionally, students who are able to read can review the name of each object.

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Tagged under: file folder activities, high holidays, rosh hashanah, autism


High Holiday Crafts

See how Gateways special educators revamp these traditional High Holiday crafts.  We provide visual step by step instructions, suggestions to adapt and modify each activity for children with different learning styles and abilities.


Example apple print Rosh Hashanah cards

Apple Print Rosh Hashanah Cards

This fun Rosh Hashanah art project can result in beautiful homemade New Year's cards! This project helps children associate Rosh Hashanah and its traditional snack of apples though a tactilely stimulating activity. Creating Rosh Hashanah cards that can be distributed to friends and family can help children feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. This downloadable kit includes step-by-step visual instructions, as well as suggestions for adaptations to suite children with a wide variety of abilities and limitations.

Download

Tagged under: rosh hashanah, high holidays, crafts, activities for kids, fine motor, sensory


Example Rosh Hashanah card with picture symbols

Rosh Hashanah Cards with Picture Symbols

Writing Rosh Hashanah cards can be an excellent opportunity for children to correspond with their friends and family. Communication can be a challenge for many students with disabilities, so it is important to create opportunities for them to express themselves. Through the use of Mayer-Johnson picture symbols, this activity sets children up for success by providing a method of communication that is accessible to those who are non-readers, non-verbal or have physical limitations, and empowers children to make choices to compose a message that is truly theirs.

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Tagged under: rosh hashanah, high holidays, activities for kids, crafts, communication skills


Person's hands inserting cloves into apple in smiley face shape

Pomanders for Yom Kippur

This fun, old-fashioned 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 together helped ease hunger during the fast. Making pomanders is an excellent way for children to practice their fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. This kit comes with a further explanation of the activity, list of materials, visual instructions and design ideas.

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Tagged under: yom kippur, high holidays, activities for kids, crafts, sensory, fine motor