PJ Library’s “A Time To Grow” Family Jewish Holidays Guide Now Available

PJ Library is offering more resources for families during the High Holidays this year. 

Stuffed with activities, recipes and rituals covering Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year), Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah, PJ Library’s new edition of A Time To Grow: A PJ Library Family Guide for Starting the Jewish New Year is available to download now in English, Spanish and Portuguese at pjlibrary.org/grow.

For the first time, A Time To Grow is available in print; paperback copies of the guide will soon be available for purchase from the PJ Library store on Amazon.com. PJ Library subscribers are receiving copies in the mail as part of their free subscriptions.

The newly expanded guide for 2022 offers engaging activities like “Make Your Own Shofar,” baking “Challah in the Round” and “Crafting a Torah.” Parents and kids can learn about the symbolic foods of Rosh Hashanah, how to cast away mistakes with the cleansing ceremony of Tashlich, create a “kindness wheel” for the New Year, make a mini play sukkah and learn step-by-step celebrations, including blessings all aimed at making the High Holidays meaningful, memorable and fun.

PJ Library also offers audio treats in September with festive, specially selected playlists and music videos, as well as the recent launch of the second season of the Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Award-winning podcast, “Afternoons with Mimi.” In the new episode “Kiddo Learns about Forgiveness,” Mimi retells the salty story of Jonah, a Yom Kippur tradition. Families can also find curated playlists and music videos perfect for the high holidays, Sukkot and Simchat Torah at https://pjlibrary.org/listen.

PJ Library mails more than 240,000 age-appropriate, expertly curated Jewish children’s books to children around North America every month. Over 16 years, PJ Library has gifted 50 million books to children. This free program for families raising Jewish kids from birth through 12 years old, offers books that capture children’s imaginations with fun characters and vibrant illustrations. PJ Library stories are a fun, easy way to share Jewish culture and values with children.

A sample recipe from the PJ Library High Holidays guide and A Time To Grow can be found below, and other symbolic foods for Rosh Hashanah can be found here.

Photo credit: PJ Library

Challah in the Round

Recipe courtesy of PJ Library

  1. 2022


To make two (egg-free!) round challah breads you’ll need:

  • 1½ Tablespoons yeast
  • 2½ cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon, plus ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 8 cups flour
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)


Dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Whisk the mixture together, then add the oil, salt, and remaining sugar. Add the flour gradually, mixing well and then working it in with your hands. Take turns kneading as a family for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Work in the raisins (optional). Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, let the dough warm to room temperature, then punch it down and separate into two portions.

Braid a Round Challah

Challah is usually shaped in a simple long braid, but you can turn any challah recipe into a Rosh Hashanah recipe by braiding it in the round.

  1. When you reach the braiding stage, shape the dough into six strands of equal length.
  2. Lay three strands horizontally on a floured surface, then weave the other three strands into them vertically. Lift the bottom strands as needed to weave the top strands in. The ends of the strands will stick out.
  3. Now braid the ends together on all four sides. Gently tuck the braided edges underneath the middle section. Repeat steps 1 through 3 to create your second loaf.
  4. Grease two round baking tins and transfer your loaves into them. Let the dough rise for another hour, then bake at 350 degrees for 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, glaze with a mixture of warm honey and a drop of water

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