7 Ways to Have the Best Seder Ever
Ready or not, Passover will be here soon!
Here are seven resources from ReformJudaism.org and elsewhere in the Jewish world you can use to enrich your celebration of the Festival of Freedom.
- Preparation Checklist: Use this list of essentials to ensure that by the time your guests arrive you’re totally organized, with everything on hand for your best seder yet.
- Food and Recipes: Whether you’re in search of a new dish for the seder, creative cocktails for the week, or nut-free charoset options, we’ve got a trove of kosher-for-Passover recipes from which to choose.
- Trivia Place Cards: Created by Repair the World and Be’chol Lashon, these place cards will get your seder guests in the right seats – and chatting about various Passover rituals in communities and cultures around the world. If your guests don’t know each other, consider using the question and answer format of the cards as an icebreaker for people sitting near each other.
- Haggadot Inserts: Use inserts or other readings to emphasize a theme or concept throughout the seder or to highlight issues specific to our day:
- Repair the World and Be’chol Lashon created this Avadim Hayinu (We Were Slaves) insert to spark discussion around the opening words of the Passover story and individual and collective struggles for freedom in today’s world.
Miriam's Cup: A Supplemental Reading for the Passover Haggadah highlights and celebrate Miriam’s role in the deliverance from slavery and her leadership throughout the wandering in the wilderness.
- Integrity First for Ameica created this Passover seder supplement to help prompt conversation about modern day injustice.
- HIAS has developed a complete Haggadah devoted to the connections between the Passover story and today's refugees. If you're looking for a new Haggadah generally, check out 16 Unique Haggadot to Enliven Your Passover Seder.
- Here are other ways you and your family can discover something new to add to the retelling of the story in the Haggadah.
- Blessings: In years when the seder coincides with Shabbat, the blessing over the wine is the “Shabbat version.” In some families, it’s customary to bless the children on Shabbat and holidays with these blessings and to recite Birkat haMazon (Grace After Meals) – either the long version or the short version. If you’re inclined, try adding these blessings to your celebration this year.
- Music and Songs: Music is an essential part of any seder. Whether you (or your kids) need to brush up on the Four Questions, are looking for new songs to add to your mix of favorites, or want to watch videos of fun holiday songs, here’s your go-to music resource.
- For Kids: Among the many ways to involve children in learning about and celebrating Passover are hosting a chocolate seder or an age appropriate seder for pre-schoolers, telling a Passover story, or making a matzah cover to use on your seder table. Check out these other family activities, too.
Whatever you do and however you celebrate the holiday that commemorates our exodus from slavery to freedom, ReformJudaism.org wishes you a sweet and wonderful Passover. Chag Pesach sameach!
Jane E. Herman, a.k.a. JanetheWriter, is the senior writer and editor at the Union for Reform Judaism. She is a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, PA, and holds a master's degree in public administration from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College, part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system. She grew up at Temple Emanu-El in Edison, NJ, and now belongs to Temple Shaaray Tefila in New York City. A proud New Yorker, she loves books, fountain pens, social media, Words with Friends, mah jongg, and all things Jewish. She blogs at JanetheWriter Writes.