Happy Rosh Hashanah! (Almost)

The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah falls this year from the evening of Sunday, September 13th through the evening of Tuesday, September 15th. Member Joanie Calem shares a song for the Holiday.

comfest 2015
Joanie Calem

From Joanie:

Rosh HaShanah literally means “the head of the year.”  It is the first of three autumn holidays, and though a joyous holiday, it is a time of reflection and contemplation.  While reflection and contemplation are big concepts for young people who don’t always developmentally “get” abstract thinking, I believe that teaching children to notice the changes in nature that happen all around us is one concrete way of leading to an awareness of the abstract.  The song starts out with that quiet observance of nature, and alternates between quick, joyful music and softer contemplative music, a reflection of this holiday.

As the song opens, the children put on bird wings and gently fly around the room. The
song will lead the children through the actions on the fast parts, with them returning to
“bird wings” for the slower parts.

The Birds Are Flying South
words and music by Joanie Calem

The birds are flying south, telling us a holiday is near,
Goodbye to all that was, hello to a brand new year.
Shanah Tovah, clap your hands, (3x)
Clap your hands!
We think of all we’ve done, the good, the bad, the fun.
We’re sorry for the bad, and for the good we’re glad.
Shanah Tovah, stomp your feet, (3x)
Stomp your feet!
So now we’ve come to say, thank you for this brand new day.
We’re given a new chance to try, and let our dreams reach the sky.
Shanah Tovah, jump around, (3x)
Jump Around! AND
Shanah Tovah, stomp your feet, (3x)
Stomp your feet! AND
Shanah Tovah, clap your hands, (3x)
Clap your hands! AND
Shanah Tovah, do all three, (3x)
Do all three!


  1. Beautiful Joanie! I love how you weave the (active) celebration and the (quiet) contemplation together in this wonderful song. It really illustrates and quantifies the holiday, thank you!

Comments are closed.