High Holy Days

Family Resources for the High Holy Days Season and for Jewish Values

BimBam is a media studio making Jewish videos, apps and animated series that are joyful, empowering introductions to Jewish ideas and life for kids & adults.

Videos for the season – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah Shaboom!

For kids 4-7 and their parents.  Shaboom! is a new series of videos based on Jewish values from BimBam. Shaboom! videos help kids see and learn about Mussar ideas and Jewish values and how they can be useful in everyday family life.

Children's Books

PJ Library offers free children’s books each month for families with Jewish children.

PJ Library has many children’s books related to the season, including:

PJ Library books about Rosh Hashanah

PJ Library books about Yom Kippur

PJ Library also has many books covering Jewish values:

PJ Library books about Being a Mensch

PJ Library books about Forgiveness

If you would like to receive PJ Library books, sign up here.


Jewish children’s books relevant to the High Holy Days and Jewish values are also available at:

Afikomen Judaica in Berkeley, Dayenu Judaica in San Francisco, and for circulation at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco and via its pushcart program at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto and at the San Francisco JCC.


Other Resources for Families and Young Children

This online Days of Awe resource for families – parents & children – is from Jewish Educational Center of Cleveland.

Interfaith Family Guide to the High Holy Days


High Holy Day Resources for Families and Children with Disabilities – this resource was developed for families with special needs, but it is a great resource for any Jewish family celebrating the holidays.

Teaching Your Children about Derech Eretz (How to raise a family of mensches)

Wise words from a Jewish educator on teaching Jewish values in the home in everyday life.


Jewish LearningWorks Online Resources for Families

Educational Resources for Teaching Mussar & Middot


Mussar curriculum for young children - From the Mussar Institute

Middot:  A Stairway of Virtues - Curriculum (25 lessons) for grades 6-9

American Presidents & Jewish Values - Downloadable lesson plan with texts and other resources analyzing speeches of American Presidents through the lens of Jewish values.  Adaptable for Grades 5-10.

Study Leads to Action: Understanding and Living Jewish Values Curriculum - for Middle School Students - Jewish Values curriculum for middle schoolers from Jewish Education Center, Cleveland.

IJS Project on Middot includes curriculum and supplemental materials

Under the Same Sky:  “The Earth is Full of Your Creations” - Curricular framework for young children and families, learning values related to our world and nature, including 3 units:

  • Do Not Destroy (Bal Tashchit):  The Importance of Conserving and Protecting Nature
  • indness to Animals (Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayim)
  • ppreciating the Wonders of Nature (Le’He’arich at Pelei HaTeva)

Values-based lesson plans and programs from PJ Library - For young children: Various PJ Library books with lesson plans and programs, categorized by value and age. Some programs are adaptable for multi-age programming


Online Resource for Families

http://imcomingclean.weebly.com/ - Days of Awe resource for families – parents & children – from Jewish Educational Center of Cleveland

For Teens:

Getting to Know Your Values & Middot

Identity Cafe

Character Day Resources:

Making of a Mensch Video

Character Day Discussion Kits

Periodic Table of Being a Mensch –  Table of Middot developed by Rabbi Avi Orlow

Other Resources

Middot-opoly – Jewish Values Board Game

Downloadable Chart of Middot

Tikkun Middot Materials from institute for Jewish Spirituality

Embodied Middot

Resources: Middot (Virtues), Mussar, and Preparing for the Days of Awe

Lists of Middot

Pirke Avot:
“The Torah is greater than the priesthood and greater than royalty, seeing that royalty is acquired through 30 virtues, the priesthood twenty-four, while the Torah is acquired through 48 virtues.”

These 48 Middot are listed here on the URJ website: http://www.reformjudaism.org/study-48-middot

Cheshbon Ha-Nefesh
Rabbi Mendel Menachem Lefin of Satanov identified 13 Middot in Cheshbon HaNefesh (Accounting of the Soul), published 200 years ago in Lithuania.

Benjamin Franklin
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Lefin was influenced by reading Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography.  Franklin listed these 13 virtues, along with a rigorous method for self-improvement.  Franklin’s methods may have had an influence on subsequently developed Mussar practice.

A comparison of Franklin’s list of virtues with the 13 Middot in Cheshbon Ha0Nefesh, and the 13 Middot listed by Rabbi Israel Salanter, the founder of the modern Mussar movement, can be found here.

National Mussar Resources

The two leading centers of Mussar learning in North America are The Mussar Institute and the Mussar Leadership Program.

Local Mussar Resources

http://bayareamussar.org/ - aggregates information about Mussar classes and events across the Bay Area.

Cheshbon HaNefesh (Accounting of the Soul) Preparing for the Days of Awe

Personal Improving through Personal Accounting
Cheshbon Hanefesh (from shortvort.com) 
10 Tools for Cheshbon HaNefesh
Accounting of the Soul template/worksheet

JKids High Holy Days Edition