Rosh Hashanah—commonly known as the Jewish New Year—marks the beginning of a 10-day period of prayer, repentance, and self reflection. Like most festive occasions, this holiday is also about tasty recipes, many of which offer a symbolic nod to Jewish traditions. So when planning a dinner party in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the menu is a good place to start!
Plan Your Menu
The goal of this menu is to offer food that represents a sweet new year (quite literally!) In honor of the circle of life, you can plan your menu around sugary-flavored foods that bring hope for a “sweet” new beginning. Keep in mind that Rosh Hashanah is traditionally a day of rest and prayer, so planning a menu that requires minimal work is ideal.
When you think of traditional challah bread, you’re probably visualizing the beloved braided variety. But on Rosh Hashanah, it’s customary to switch things up and serve a rounded challah, which beautifully symbolizes the circle of life. You can find a fabulous recipe by Bon Appétit here!
Brisket is a standout dish on many Rosh Hashanah tables. No matter how you prepare it, it’s sure to be a popular choice. In fact, there are a wealth of recipes to choose from. According to Stephanie Pierson, author of The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes, “the taste of Rosh Hashanah brisket can range from savory to herb-infused, to one that has been braised in a big, bold wine that adds layers of subtle flavor.”
Glazed Carrots with Orange and Ginger:
Thanks to their sweet taste, carrots are a given at any Rosh Hashanah holiday dinner. In this recipe by Martha Stewart, the carrots are dressed with an orange-and-ginger glaze for an extra-tasty side dish that also adds a touch of color!
Sunken Apple and Honey Cake:
Complete with all things sweet, this recipe by Smitten Kitchen is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Rosh Hashanah is a holiday and as such, cocktails are a common addition. Martha Stewart (who has never let us down when it comes to spirited beverages) has a festive recipe complete with honey-dipped apples and pomegranate. The pomegranates, with their many seeds, represent a fruitful year.
What could be more fun than offering your guests a Rosh Hashanah Apple Dipping Bar? This sweet idea comes from Rita with Design Megillah. After dipping their apples, your guests can add a variety of toppings to sprinkle onto the sticky honey.
Whether you want to incorporate elaborate decorations or take a simpler route, you can achieve an inviting, intimate look with just a few simple steps. A great place to start is the table cloth. If you have an existing table cloth at home, you might decide to incorporate a lace overlay for an added touch of elegance (or start fresh with a visit to the fabric store!)
If you have it available, you may opt to incorporate your nice china and a display of candles into this special dinner as the meal typically begins with a ceremonial lighting. If you want to take it up a notch, individual place settings offer an elegant, personal touch. Nothing is better than a sweet welcome! We were inspired by this place setting inspiration (complete with a honey dipper!) featured on Swooned Magazine.
Create a Guest List
Consider how many people you can comfortably seat in your home for this special occasion. Once you have a general idea, create an organized spreadsheet that includes the first name, last name, and email address for each of your guests. This will come in handy when you’re ready to send out invitations. Paperless invitation services (like Greenvelope!) allow you to upload your list directly.
Greenvelope offers a number of elegant designs that will beautifully set the tone for your dinner party. Be sure to send your invitations three to four weeks beforehand. You’ll find that managing your dinner party is dramatically easier with digital, especially when it comes to tracking RSVPs. It’s a win-win! Once you find that perfect design, don’t hesitate to add a touch of personalization. You can browse a bunch of Rosh Hashanah invitation designs here. You’ll be on your way to collecting RSVPs in no time!