Today Is The Birthday Of The World explores Rosh Hashanah
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Today Is The Birthday Of The World explores Rosh Hashanah

Book Title: Today Is the Birthday of the World*

Author: Linda Heller

Illustrator: Alison Jay

Book Summary:

G-d created each animal, bestowing upon each a special gift to share with the world. At the end of the book, G-d is pleased with the ways in which the creatures’ efforts shaped the Earth.

Topic(s) Addressed:

This resource was created by the PJ Library at the PJ Library Educator's Center. Created for Family programs, this resource and its activities can be utilized, possibly with modifications, in a variety of children s learning environments.

Synopsis from the resource:

"This program introduces families to the concepts of Rosh Hashanah as a time for:

  • Celebrating the creation of the world 
  • Resolving to help both the earth and its inhabitants in the upcoming year 
The program gently demonstrates that Rosh Hashanah marks a perfect time for families to think about how they, as a family, might help to make the world a kinder, more caring and environmentally friendly place.  During the course of the program, families will:
    • Explore the book Today is the Birthday of the World, through a Story Walk™- a unique reading experience in which families walk from one page of a book to the next. 
    • Engage in a variety of environmentally friendly behaviors (planting flowers, cleaning road, etc.) 
    • Jot down several “New Year’s Resolutions” on how the family will try to help both people and the earth in the year ahead 
    • Create arts and crafts projects which will enhance their Rosh Hashanah celebrations "

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore

Sharing The Storymore


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore


Consider sharing these songs, with your community (which can be streamed and shared with a spotify account) and/or review related song suggestions, below in "complementary resources" section.


Resources that might be of interest:

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
The Apple Tree’s Discovery* Peninnah Schram and Rachayl Eckstein DavisWendy W. LeeA little apple tree in a forest of oaks begs G-d for stars like those glimmering on the branches of the great oak trees beside her. As the seasons pass, she learns to appreciate her own gifts and realizes that it’s possible to find a star in each of us.
I'm Sorry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale Tilda Balsley and Ellen FischerTom LeighBrosh can’t find his blue cap, and suspects that one of his friends has taken it. When Grover returns the lost item, Brosh is glad that the High Holidays offer him a chance to say, “I’m sorry.”
What A Way to Start A Year!: A Rosh Hashanah Story Jacqueline JulesJudy SteadBeginning the New Year in a new city isn’t easy, and it definitely isn’t starting out very well for Dina and her family! But when they’re welcomed by warm and generous hosts in their new community it becomes a very happy New Year for all.
The World's Birthday* Barbara Diamond GoldinJeanette WinterAnticipating the forthcoming celebrations of Rosh Hashanah, young Daniel learns that Rosh Hashanah is to commemorate the world's birthday and decides to throw the entire world a great big party.
New Year at The Pier* Aptil WaylandStâephane JorischIzzy’s favorite part of Rosh Hashanah is Tashlich, a joyous ceremony in which people apologize for the mistakes they made in the previous year and thus clean the slate as the new year begins. But there is one mistake on Izzy’s “I’m sorry” list that he’s finding especially hard to say out loud.

Humor, touching moments between family and friends, and lots of information about the Jewish New Year are all combined in this lovely picture book for holiday sharing
Tashlisch at Turtle Rock* Susan Schnur Anna Schnur-Fishman and Alexandra Steele-MorganAnnie is excited about the Tashlich ceremony on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, when her family will walk to Turtle Rock Creek and throw crumbs into the water, as symbols of mistakes made the past year. As Annie leads her family through the woods stopping at favorite rocks, bridges, and waterfalls in her family’s own Tashlich ritual, they think about the good and bad things that happened during the past year, and make plans for a sweeter new year. This story focuses on ecological connections to the Tashlich ceremony and encourages families to customize the ritual and commune with nature at the New Year.
It's Shofar Time! Latifa Berry Kropf Tod Cohen (photographer)A class of Jewish preschool children is photographed celebrating Rosh Hashanah. They blow the shofar, dip apples in honey and make Shanah Tovah cards.
Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride Deborah Bodin CohenShahar KobelA sweet and creative Rosh Hashanah story based on the first historic train ride from Jaffa to Jerusalem in 1892, shortening the journey between the two cities from 3 days to 3 hours. Engineer Ari's train is coming to Jerusalem collecting goodies along the way to celebrate the Jewish new year, and he learns an important lesson along the way.
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors