High Holidays at Home: A PJ Library Family Guide

Plus a sweet recipe for Apple and Honey Piroshki

September 12, 2020

Each fall, Jews around the world celebrate the High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It's a time when one can take a deep breath and think about the ways to make ourselves and the world a better place. Traditionally, many families celebrate the holidays at synagogue and with relatives and friends. This year, to stay safe, many are staying home, so PJ Library has created a free, everything-you-need family guide to help celebrate what may be many family's first High Holidays spent entirely at home. 

The beautifully-illustrated High Holidays at Home: A PJ Library Family Guide features new and familiar rituals, hands-on activities such as shofar making and challah baking, conversation starters, "unpacking" of selected prayers (with tips on talking with children about God), and family-friendly explanations - all aimed at making the ten days the High Holidays are celebrated meaningful, memorable and fun for families, this year and in the future. 

The PJ Library Family Guide is available for free download at It is also accompanied by an interactive online companion that offers helpful how-to videos, music, and audio versions of blessing and prayers. A few of the offerings in the fall guide include: Symbolic New Year Foods, What's All the Praying About?, Family Conversations, and a tasty Challah recipe. As a supplement to the guide, you can find High Holiday playlists, music videos, and podcast episodes, as well as kid-friendly and absolutely free audio streaming options, at PJ Library Listen.

As if all this weren't exciting enough, PJ Library is also partnering with to present Liora Kimell, their newest Nosh & Nibble young chef from Los Angeles, who will demonstrate easy recipes in three upcoming episodes, starting Wednesday, September 16th. For a taste of the first episode, check out Liora's recipe below for Apple and Honey Piroshki. 

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are right around the corner, so be sure to download High Holidays at Home: A PJ Library Family Guide to enhance and enrich your family's celebration and observance of these important holidays. Wishing you a sweet new year and an easy fast! 

Apple and Honey Piroshki
By Nosh & Nibble star Liora Kimell
Recipe makes 12 apple piroshki
This recipe is a twist on the apple turnover in the style of sweet piroshki, a Russian/Ukranian popular street food which is traditionally a savory treat. It is  inspired by a recipe by my babushka (grandmother), which uses pastry dough instead of the traditional fried yeast dough.

The Ingredients:
2 large or 3 medium apples thinly sliced or cubed
Ground or powdered cinnamon
Pastry Dough squares
1 egg whisked/beaten
Powdered sugar or chocolate powder
Optional: vanilla extract, raisins, pecans/crushed walnuts, crushed biscuit/graham cracker

The Process:
Preheat oven to 375.
Dust a cutting board with flour. Place 6 pastry dough squares on the cutting board. We recommend using dough that still a little cold so it’s less sticky, but not frozen.
Cut each square piece in half and use a roller to expand and thin each out.
For the filling, the sliced or cubed apples can be used raw without prior baking. Alternatively, cube the apples and bake them for 10 minutes. If you bake the apples, be sure to let them cool down before placing them on the pastry dough squares.
Place the filling atop of the pastry dough square. Add honey and cinnamon.
Optional fillings include raisins, vanilla extract, pecans, or crushed walnuts.
If the filling is too moist, a teaspoon of crushed biscuit or graham cracker can be sprinkled in the center of the cut dough before placing the filling.
Fold each corner towards the center to cover the filling.

Cover a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the piroshki on the parchment paper.
Use a spoon or a basting brush to top the pastry with a beaten egg. This will add a rosier color to the piroshki while baking. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until it looks fluffy and done.

Final Toppings:
Once the piroshki are out of the oven, sprinkle them with powdered sugar, chocolate powder, or drizzles of honey.