Q What are your tips and tricks to surviving the chaos of the High Holy Days?
It’s all about being organised. In the lead-up to the High Holy Days, I find it important to be prepared and make a list of all the things I need to do. My calendar app and other reminder features help me stay on track, so I’m very grateful for technology. Along the way, I also ensure to take deep breaths and have some “me time”!
Q Are there any sneaky short cuts you use?
Soups and kugels freeze well, so I always make them in advance. As we get closer, the more I can prepare in advance, the less stressful it will be. Also, I make challah dough in advance and freeze it. Having the fresh baked aroma filling the house on erev yom tov is so wonderful!
Q How do you get the kids involved in the festivities?
In the lead-up to chagim, I think it is important to create an exciting hype in the home. Our children will sense and feel our excitement for the Holy Days if they see us excited and enthusiastic. Also, I try to give them something new for the holiday, such as clothing or a prize. Our children also help make decorations for the tables or the succah. The children have special roles at home during the holidays, such as saying a dvar Torah at the table, assisting with a mitzvah, sounding the shofar or having their own lulav and etrog. Making the children feel important is the key to making the celebration a success.
Q What does this chag mean to you? Why is it special?
Growing up, it was the most special time of my life. It was always so busy at my parents’ shule in California during this time. I enjoyed seeing the crowds enjoying the festival and celebrating in shule. It is an honour for me to be a rebbetzin now and to be able to bring this excitement to my shule as well.
Q What is a Rosh Hashanah ‘must have’ or ‘must do’ for your family?
I have always made my grandmother’s sweet gefilte fish recipe for Rosh Hashanah, and it is a must-have! As a family, we also like to attend the Tashlich service together, it’s just something we’ve always done. It is a special time as we walk together to a local river or pond, something about the whole experience is just so calming.