Monthly Archives: September 2011

Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana in United States

Quick Facts

Rosh Hashana, also spelled Rosh Hashanah, is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. The event begins on the first day of Tishrei (or Tishri), which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar.

Local names

Name Language
Rosh Hashana English
Rosh Hashaná Spanish

Rosh Hashana 2011

Thursday, September 29, 2011 begins on Wednesday, September 28 at sundown.

Many Jewish Americans celebrate Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah), which is also                                                                                                  known as the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashana starts on the first day of Tishrei (or Tishri),                                                                              which is the seventh month in the Jewish calendar, and may last for two days. It is
sometimes called the Day of Remembrance or the Day of Blowing the Shofar.
The shofar is an instrument that is blown during Rosh Hashana.
The shofar is blown at some stage during Rosh Hashana.

What do people do?

Many Jewish Americans observe Rosh Hashanah, known as the New Year in the Jewish calendar, for two days, while others celebrate the event for one day. It is a time of family gatherings, special meals and sweet foods. Many Jewish people celebrate Rosh Hashana by eating challah bread and apples dipped in honey.

Unlike the secular New Year in the Gregorian calendar (January 1), Rosh Hashana is a time of judgment and remembrance, on which God reviews and judges a person’s deeds in the past year. It is a time of prayer and penitence. All debts from the past year are supposed to be settled before Rosh Hashana. Many Jewish people in the United States seek forgiveness from friends and family prior to this event.

Some Jewish people perform the tashlikh. This is the custom of reciting prayers near naturally flowing water, such as a stream or river, and symbolically throwing one’s sins away in the form of small pieces of bread or other food. Many Jewish people perform tashlikh from places such as the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges in New York. Some people may use a fish pond or mikveh (ritual bath) if there is no local river or stream.

People of Jewish faith may take the day off work or organize time off during this time of the year, to observe the belief that no work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah. Much of the day is spent in synagogue, where the regular daily liturgy is expanded. The story of Abraham is read in synagogues and the shofar (ram’s horn) serves as a reminder that God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of Abraham’s son, Isaac. The shofar is blown like a trumpet in the synagogue during this time of the year.

Public life

Rosh Hashana is not a federal public holiday in the United States. However, it can be taken as an optional holiday for state government employees in Texas. A chief judge of any judicial circuit in Florida can designate Rosh Hashana as a legal holiday for court employees within the state’s judicial circuit.  Many Jewish organizations may be closed or have restricted opening hours on Rosh Hashana.


Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah) marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and covers two of the 10 High Holy days that conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Some sources say that the early Jewish calendar had four New Years, corresponding the seasons, with Rosh Hashana being one of the New Years.

Festivals to mark the beginning of a new year in the fall have been held since the earliest days of the Israelites. These took the form of prayers of thanks for the grain harvest. The custom of blowing trumpets on the 10th day of the month of Tishrei is first described in the vision of Ezekiel, a prophet who lived sometime around 600–500 BCE. This custom has continued into modern times.


The challah bread, which is eaten during Rosh Hashana, symbolizes the continuity of life. The apples that are dipped in honey symbolize sweetness and good health throughout the New Year. Some people also eat fish heads, which symbolize their desire to be on top, not the bottom, of life in the New Year. Pomegranates symbolize an abundance of goodness and happiness.

The shofar reminds people of Jewish faith that God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of his Abraham’s son, Isaac. The tashlikh is an act that symbolizes throwing one’s sins in the water, so people believe that they are freed from their sins.

Tan is Heading Back to Thailand

IMG_2360Angsumalin Jittangkoon, nicknamed Tan, arrived in the USA back on October 12 2009.  After spending 2 years here as an Au Pair in America, it is time to go home to Thailand.  Her host family will miss her, as will her friends and her Community Counselor, Cindy Garruba.  Cindy says “Tan has been a wonderful addition to our cluster!  She has participated in most of our activities and did many of the volunteer activities as well!”  

At the Cultural Fair at the Children’s Museum.  Tan even dressed in traditional Thai costume!003

011AP Scavenger HUnt 2010 013HELP decorating 009AP's Sept 2011 021

Tan receives her Completion Certificate at her last Cluster Meeting!  We will miss you and wish you all the best in your future!

September Au Pair Cluster Meeting

AP's Sept 2011 023 webThe Suffolk County cluster of Au Pair in America meeting in September was filled with au pairs and with important information.  Cindy Garruba, Senior Community Counselor advised all host families to make sure their au pair attended this important meeting.

All summer long Au Pairs were arriving in Suffolk County.  Some of them came to families whose former au pair had completed her time as an au pair and was heading home to her own country.  Some were coming to new host families!  Along with au pairs who have been in the country several months, the new au pairs gathered at Cindy Garruba’s home.  They had lessons on safe driving led by Cindy, always a high priority for all au pairs.  Cindy also taught the au pairs about managing the needs of their host children going back to school; things like handling the stressful morning on school days, safe trips to the bus stop, communicating with school through the back pack, and advice from teachers.

AP's Sept 2011 027 webAlong with the valuable lessons learned, the au pairs also had a chance to talk about themselves.  They each told the group their name, their country, when they arrived in the USA, where their host family lives in Suffolk County, how many and the ages of their host children.  The group includes au pairs from Europe, Asia and South America.  Everyone made new friends!

Au Pairs Create 9/11 Peace Project

AP's Sept 2011 028 bOn Sunday, September 11 2011 the Au Pair in America Suffolk County Au Pairs created a Peace Painting in honor of the ten year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center. 

Each Au Pair painted a peace sign to reflect their country or their thoughts on peace. Reflections of the day resulted in inspirational creativity by each of the young women.AP's Sept 2011 029 B


AP's Sept 2011 030 bInternational Peace Day is September 21.  Celebrations will be held around the world to promote world peace.



The final project created by Cindy Garruba’s Au Pairs!pic-for-web.jpg

The School Bus Stop Safety


School Starts Now – Be Safe at the Bus Stop

  1. Be on time to the bus stop so that you and your host kids get there safely
  2. Walk and hold hands to the stop
  3. Stand on the sidewalk or the the grass, not in the street
  4. Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before the children walk to the door
  5. Let the bus driver open the door, do not push it, wait
  6. Remind the children to sit on the bus and not stand, if there are seat belts, tell them to put them on.
  7. Let the bus leave before you do, just in case there is a problem
  8. Be at the afternoon return bus stop in plenty of time, before it comes
  9. The driver is not allowed to let small children off the bus unless someone greets them, so if you are not there the children will be taken back to school.  BE THERE.
  10. The bus driver will not leave until you are safely on your side of the street, so if you need to cross the street, do it in front of the bus!!