Shanah tovah (שנה טובה) is the greeting Jewish people exchange during their New Year festival of Rosh Hashanah and translates as have a good new year. This year the two-day festival, which celebrates the anniversary of the world’s creation, took place from the 20th to the 22nd September. With these dates being so close to the beginning of our own Buckingham new year, it presented us with the perfect opportunity to hold another of our legendary whole-school breakfasts!
In their RE lesson the week before, boys in Year 3 learned that Jewish people eat apples dipped in honey to symbolise their hopes for the coming year to be full of sweetness. They also learnt that a shofar – a ram’s horn – is blown during this festival to symbolise the kingship of God. It also serves as a reminder to us to reflect upon our deeds from the past year in order to consider how to become a better person in the year to come.
As with festivals of all faiths, and those of a secular nature too, the coming-together with family and friends to share food and take part in communal traditions forms an integral part of such occasions. Here in our newly-revamped hall, when we dipped apples into honey, ate challah bread, drank pomegranate juice and chatted with our friends, and thought of Jewish people all around the world doing exactly the same, we could feel not only part of the very special family that is our school, but also part of the very special family that is our world.