Statement by Minister Joly on Rosh Hashanah

British Prime Minister Theresa May speaking in front of members of the British Jewish community

The women, who came from Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties, learned how to make and braid challah, the traditional Jewish bread that is eaten on Shabbat (the Sabbath) and on Jewish holidays, including Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah actually means "Head of the Year". According to the Jewish website Chabad.org, which explains the term further - Like the head controls the body, our actions on Rosh Hashanah have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year.

When is Rosh Hashanah and what time does it start?

Rosh Hashanah translates as "the head of the year" in Hebrew and is when Jews observe the end of one year and the start the next. Like with many Jewish holidays, it's essentially an excuse to get together with your family and gorge on delicious food. It is a time for observant people to acknowledge their sins of the previous year and are judged for their transgressions by God.

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How is Rosh Hashanah celebrated?

In conservative and orthodox congregations, the new year celebration spans two days. "Melania and I wish everyone a sweet, healthy, and peaceful year, which we hope will bring many blessings to all". The day also involves blowing the shofar, or ram's horn, and extended prayer readings.

Special greetings for the holiday include, "L'shanah tovah tikatevu v'tichatemu" (May you be inscribed and sealed [in the Book of Life] for a good year) and "G'mar chatimah tovah" (A good final sealing [in the Book of Life]).

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