It's an old tradation celebrating the jewish new year. See the jewish holidays don't operate on the same calendar we have. Way back someone found out the original calander was off by a few months, so they developed a new calendar. But jewish holidays still follow the orgionla one, because thier religion si so deeply rooted in tradition.
Durignt eh week they're supposed to reflect on the past year and on the things they've done. this prepares them for YOn Kippur, which dierctly follow Rosh Hashanna. It is a day of attonment where there is fasting, asking for repentance, and most Jews dont' work on that day either. Think of it like a much stronger and serious form of a new years resolution.
I'm not Jewish, but I learned about tis in my religion class thursday
We had jew food.. I know I'm going to butcher the spelling, but motzi ball soup, potato latkes, and hully bread and some other stuff. My stepdad is hebrewish. He doesn't go to the temple or anything. He works.
the money (supposedly) goes towards the temple. theres alot of temple stuff that goes on. in terms of charity, fundraisers. its no differnt than a church, except you need a membership. it sort of weeds out the "casual" goers. i mean why would anyone pay for a membership if they dont go all the time? or pay just to go twice a year (high holy days).
on top of that, not many communities in general have strong jewish populations (except for some areas) so the cost of maintaining a temple is alot more than maintaining a church, especially since there are alot less jews in *most* communities