Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Song Search

Search our song titles for a keyword.

Prayers for the Sick

Click here for a list of people who need your prayers to get well.

Spiritual Stories

To read the latest stories and letters sent to us by our fans, click here.


A great multimedia way to learn the parsha, at Torah4Kids

Yom Kippur | Yonah and the Whale



Elul 5770   [email protected]   

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock


Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 20. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at, click on Educators Corner to view our back issues.


Adult Learning: This month we will be learning about one of the holiest days of the year, Yom Kippur and about ways to do Teshuvah (Return to Hashem or Repent).  Click this link to see ideas for teaching about Rosh Hashanah.

During Yom Kippur services, we have special prayers (Kol Nidre) where we pray to be forgiven for promises we made but didn’t keep. We also have prayers that we say to ask forgiveness, as a community, for anything we may have done wrong during the year (Ashamnu and Al Chet). Repenting as a community is such a beautiful thing; we are helping those who can not repent on their own, and we are not embarrassing anyone by having them say their own personal sins out loud. As always, chesed (kindness) is an important theme in Judaism. We also read from the Book of Yonah (Jonah) from the Tanach.  Yonah is a story about trying to run away from Hashem (and the plans Hashem has for us), Teshuvah and acceptance of Hashem’s will. On a preschool level, it’s about not doing what a “Grown Up” (in this case Hashem) asks us to do and the growth and consequences that result. It is also a fun story to act out using puppets or props!


Suggested Shlock Rock Songs: "Yonah and the Whale" from Shlock Rock Meets the Prophets,  "Shana Tova"  and “Bain Adam L’Chavero  from Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time, "High Holy Days" from the CD Learning is Good,  "Fast Days of the Year" from the CD WoodShlock, "Tshuva" from the CD Greatest Hits 10 - The Early Years, "Turn to God" from the CD God Sent Us Email, "Tekia" from the CD Shlock Rock Almost Broadway, “Aseret Yemay Teshuvah" and "Apples and Honey"  from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3 and "Shimmy's New Horn" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together.  To hear the songs, click these links:  kids songs ,  original songs,  and parody songs then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your MP3 player or computer and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE. Check out Shlock Rock’s newest CDs: Shlock Rock-Shabbat In Liverpool and Shlock Rock No Limits available here.  It’s easy to download all these songs to make a CD, email me if you need help.  


Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:


Books: Yom Kippur books are hard to find! Here are a few: The Hardest Word by Jacqueline Jules, Even Higher by Eric Kimmelman and When the Chickens Went on Strike by Erica Silverman, A Yom Kippur Think by Miriam Feinberg and Does God Forgive Us? by August Gold. (Click here  to see other books by August Gold that are related to relationships with God.)  I am sorry to say, that I have not found a Jonah and the Whale book that is by a Jewish author or publisher. I have a few copies of the book that are more “New Testament” oriented, so make sure if you buy any of them, that you read them first in case you need to change words or ideas. What I mean is, that in some of the books, the people are praying on their knees with their hands crossed, not exactly how we do it! J  Examples: Jonah and the Whale by Darcy Weinbeck, or Sophie Piper, or Laura Dreyer, or B. Watts all available through


Story/Drama: Create flannel board puppets from felt (or stiff felt) with the characters from Jonah and the Whale. Use these to act out the story with your class. You can also have the children use costumes to act it out. You can make a “whale” by using a large sheet draped over a few chairs, (or children!) so Jonah can go inside. Other children can use blue crepe paper to be the water.


Project: After learning the story of Jonah and the Whale, have the children create a wall mural depicting the story. Paint a blue background using different kinds of brushes, or branch out and do the Mitzvah of Bal Tashchit (not destroying) and paint using some recycled things like: newspaper smooshed into a ball, bubble wrap, aluminum foil smooshed into a ball, or literally branch out, and use a twig from a pine tree or other tree (of course look for ones that are already on the ground, we don’t want to be unkind to the trees!) or some pine cones dipped into paint. After that dries or on another piece of paper, make a big gray whale and then create Jonah to go in the stomach of the whale. You could also have each child make a fish or sea creature to put in the water on the mural too. Display it for everyone to enjoy and take digital pictures to email to families as well.


Discussion: Yom Kippur is a great time to discuss kind manners or Middot.  Talk about the behaviors we would like to improve upon, how to try and do that, and ways we can be kinder to others. It says in the Torah to “treat others the way we want to be treated.” When my twins were 3 years old and were learning this idea, they thought that you were supposed to treated people the way they treated you! So whenever one of them was unkind, the other twin was unkind too! Oye, it took a while to get this idea straightened around in their little heads! J So please make sure your children understand to treat people the way you would like to be treated! J

What are some things that your class or school can do to help others? Make a list and post it on your wall for future reference. Remember to follow through with those ideas!! Check out our past newsletters for other ideas related to relationships Bain Adam L’Chavero (between people or friends). Brain storm ideas with your class, and send the ideas home to your school families. Our goal is to get parents involved in the chesed (kindness) too! This is an excellent time to come up with some Tzedakah projects for the school year. Make sure at least one idea is related to helping the economy in Israel!!!!

After learning the story of Jonah and the Whale, you could also have a discussion about honoring parents and teachers. Kibud Av Va’Em is the 5th Commandment. Hashem is the Parent to all of us! Plus some of our children aren’t always kind to their parents and teaching children to honor and respect their parents, teachers and Hashem is a very important life lesson!


Activity: Teach the children the concept of the prayer Al Chet. Show the children how the adults in shul strike their chest when they say this prayer. We are saying “We’re sorry” to Hashem for all the things we did, that we wish we hadn’t done. Help children to understand that when we say this prayer, we all pray as a Kehillah, a community, we all help each other to say we’re sorry. 

Have students come up with their own Al Chet prayers. Examples:
We’re sorry we were not kind to our friends.

We’re sorry we didn’t share our toys.

We’re sorry we didn’t keep our promises.

This is also a great time to talk about Teshuvah. Whenever we are talking to Hashem we are turning to G-d and that is whatTeshuvah is all about!


Movement: Get up and dance with your children. T'shuvah from Shlock Rock’s CD Greatest Hits 1 (GH1) is a great song to dance to!!



***Please feel free to share this newsletter!! If you know someone who wants to be added to the list have them email me at [email protected]. To see our back issues go to and click on Educators Corner ***