Kelli's Kibbitz

Shana Tova! I hope you all enjoyed Rosh Hashanah with your family and loved ones. I hope the new year is as sweet as the honey that you dipped your apples in. And I hope that the sounds of the shofar reminded you to “wake up”, it’s a new year and we can all try to be the very best versions of ourselves in the coming year. Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a ten day period of introspection that culminates in Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. Wishing you all an easy and meaningful fast. Remind me to give you my recipe for my awesome noodle pudding recipe by the way, speaking of fasting/break fast!

September and October are very busy months for the Jews with the many holidays we have. We’ve got Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simchat Torah, erevs thrown in with them, creating even more opportunities to celebrate, repent, and of course eat (well, not Kol Nidre). We Jews certainly do not need much reason or convincing to cook, eat, and enjoy family meals together. 

An extremely fun holiday from the aforementioned list is Sukkot, the Fall harvest holiday. Sukkot is from September 20-27 this year. During this harvest holiday, we build sukkahs which are hut-like structures which remind us of the dwellings that the Jews lived in during the 40 years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. We decorate our sukkahs, eat and invite guests over to them, and some people even sleep in them. We also shake the lulav and the etrog (the four species of plants that are mentioned in the bible-willow, palm, myrtle, and citron).

I’ve always loved this holiday because it aligns perfectly with one of my two favorite seasons- Fall. I love decorating the sukkah with pumpkins, gourds, and colorful Fall leaves. I am not thrilled that Sukkot falls early this year, not to mention the ridiculously warm days we’ve been having recently. It’s always so nice to sit in the sukkah and smell the crisp fall air and hear the crunching of the leaves all around. Not to worry, those days will soon be here. Yay! 

This link from / provides fantastic activities, recipes, songs and more to help you celebrate Sukkot with your family.

Along with the awesome Autumn attributes that I keep alluding to, the many fun and engaging opportunities for families to get out and experience the season are among the top of my list of why Fall rocks! I have been scouring the local listings for upcoming Fall family fun events and have put together some of my favorites that I think you’ll enjoy with your crew.

Although a bit of a schlep, Harvest Moon Nights at Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ, definitely seems to be worth the hour and few minutes drive. They have harvest moon hayrides, corn maze by flashlight fun, pumpkin picking, bonfires, apple cider donuts, and more.

The Halloween light show at Demarest Farms is where I’d certainly take my kids, although at 18 and 21 years old, I may need to drag them with me! It really does look awesome and is something everyone will surely enjoy.

Why not take the kids to make homemade apple cider at Tenafly Nature Center. Who doesn’t love apple cider in the fall?

It’s not Fall related, but I know A LOT of little ones who would love to go to the Liberty Science Center for a hands-on Paw Patrol experience. They will engage in challenges, puzzles, and more.

We also have many great upcoming events planned here at the JCC for our awesome families and the community.

Mark your calendars for a FREE Car Seat Safety Check on October 24 from 10:00-1:00 at JCC Rockland. The Clarkstown Police Department, The Rockland County Sheriff’s Department and certified technicians will be present to educate parents on car seat safety and make sure child passenger seats are properly installed.

If you are looking for an amazing summer program for your child next summer, be sure to attend our annual S’mores and Tours events to learn more about JCC Rockland Camps.

If you haven’t already, be sure to like the JCC on social media. Follow us on Facebook at JCC Rockland, as well as Families Rock at JCC Rockland. We’re also on Instagram. Follow us at jccrockland and jcc_rockland_camps.

Thanks for coming back for Kelli’s Kibbutz, post #2. I’ll see you in two weeks!

Kelli 🙂