Being Present for Passover

jewish family celebrating passover

This year I challenge you to make your Seder very different – to make it relevant and engaging – a night to remember.  As we dip an egg into the salt water, let’s dip into creating meaningful  experiences and memories, building traditions that last a lifetime and bind us to future generations, that makes Passover memorable and fun, that people of all ages will want to participate in Seders for many years to come.

Seders are a wonderful time for families to get together.  There is a prescribed order, songs to sing and prayers to read. There are lots of possibilities for engagement, discussion, activities and interaction. Some families bring percussion instruments to the table, others have a charoset cook-off. I’ve even been at a Seder where we marched around the table singing Dayanu hitting the poor slave in front of us with a green onion.  How about frog races for the plagues and animal puppets and sounds for “Chad Gadya”? Whether the participants are children, teenagers, millennials, or more mature adults, there are so many possibilities to make sSders fun.  Last year, at a Sammy Spider’s First Seder, my cousin’s children created a hail storm with cotton balls, played bounce the knaidel with white tennis balls, and then went on a scavenger hunt following clues to find the afikomen.

Although we know the old tunes to the same songs, mix it up.  Let some of the teenagers rap the Mah NIshtana, bring out the hula hoops for Day Yanu, and whisper the plagues.

This will all keep things moving, making them interesting and bringing Pesach to life. How about creating the Sea of Reeds in the middle of your table… tin foil in the center with brown tissue paper along the sides.  You could even add bulrushes and people crossing?  The Seder leader could dress as Moses and the hostess as Miriam.

grandfather might make a fun pharaoh…….especially if little ones decide to sing about the frogs in his bed and on his head.

Let’s get creative, let’s celebrate our Judaism, let’s build memories and traditions.  Chag Samayach!!! _

Sue Penn, the Director of Congregational Learning at University Synagogue, is known for being an innovative and creative educator. Sue sits on the Board of Directors for JFFSOC and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.  Sue is committed to providing opportunities which allow every individual to learn and engage in community.

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