Have the Most Creative and Fun Passover Ever!

Today at sundown observing Jews will celebrate Passover.

Rabbi Zoë Klein is Rabbi of Temple Isaiah, a Reform-Jewish congregation in Los Angeles, California shares the most creative ideas for including children in Passover I’ve ever found.

Below are just a few of his ideas. To see the entire article please click here.

Preparing the Passover Table:

1. Use maps of Egypt, Israel, and the Sinai desert as place mats.

2. Put markers and crayons out on the table, and make them all the same color. Encourage people to draw or jot down questions, ideas, and thoughts in the Hagaddahs. Write the year on the inside cover of the Hagaddah in the color pen that was used that year. In later years you will be able to enjoy looking back and seeing what people thought or doodled in years past.

3. Decorate the table with frog bath-toys.

4. Put sand on the table.

5. Let the children sit near the leader instead of far away.

6. Get out your entire seder plate collection, and let everyone have their very own at the table!

7. For something totally different, sit on the floor in a circle with pillows, more like the Roman symposiums after which the seder was originally modeled.

Part 1: Kadesh – First Cup of Wine and Kiddush

1. Have an empty cup in the middle. Have everyone add a little form their own cups to the middle cup. This cup then will be Elijah’s cup, and everyone will have shared with Elijah from their own.

2. Pour the wine or grape juice for each other, each person pouring for the person to their right, to give a sense of sharing and elegance.

3. Have the younger participants pour everyone’s glasses, playacting as if the adults are the Egyptians and the children are the Israelites serving them. For the second cup of wine, have the adults serve the children!

Part 2: Urchatz – First Handwashing

1. Ask for two volunteers: one to carry a pitcher of water and to pour water over each guest’s hands, and one to carry a basin and a towel.

2. Use ice water to remember people who do not have warm water.

Part 3: Karpas – First Dipping (Parsley)

1. Plant parsley in Chia Pets!

2. Tie bundles of parsley with ribbon for each guest.

Part 4: Yachatz – Breaking of the Middle Matzah

1. A Tunisian custom is to say “This is how God split the Red Sea” and then break the middle matzah.

2. Ask, has anyone ever felt broken?

Part 5: Maggid – Storytelling

1. Tell the story through a giant game of Jeopardy!

2. Have the kids get together to put on a puppet show about Moses and the escape from Egypt. While they are putting it together, the adults can have a deeper discussion of the meaning of freedom.

3. Have volunteers role-play Moses, Miriam, Aaron, Moses mother Yochevet, and Pharaoh, and have the rest of the table interview them and ask them about their experiences.

4. At the four questions, ask the children what is the best question they’ve ever asked in school.

5. Have the children draw the ten plagues. If done earlier, these can be laminated and wine can be placed on top of the plagues as each is recited.

6. Make a family tree of the Biblical characters to help with the telling of the story, from Abraham to Moses.

7. Make a family tree of your own family, as far back as you can go!

8. Let the children build a pyramid out of sugar cubes! They will love this!!

9. Play a memory game. Go around the table asking everyone to fill in the black, “When I left Egypt, I took with me my most treasured possession……” The participants in turn must repeat the objects mentioned and add their own!

Part 6: Rachtza – Second Handwashing

1. Ask for two volunteers: one to carry a pitcher of water and to pour water over each guest’s hands, and one to carry a basin and a towel.

2. Wash feet instead of hands, just like in Biblical times!

Part 7: Motzi – First Blessing over Matzah

See how high you can build a matzah house.

Part 8: Matzah – Second blessing over Matzah

Once I attended a seder with a Yemenite family, and they had spray bottles of water on the table. They would spray the matzah with the water to make it softer, so they could wrap it around the charoset.

Part 9: Maror – Second Dipping (Maror and Charoset)

Irish fiddler Seamus Connoly once said, “We are never so happy as when we are crying.” We never enjoy the horseradish so much as when it brings tears to our eyes.

Part 10: Korech – Hillel Sandwich

1. Everyone make a sandwich for the person sitting next to them.

2. Try to whistle while eating matzah.

Part 11: Shulchan Orech – Communal Meal

Have everyone put money into the tzedakka box before eating.

Part 12: Tzafun – Afikomen

Give the finder of the afikomen a five dollar bill. Explain that it is Abraham Lincoln on that bill, and what he did to end slavery in America.

Part 13: Barech – Blessing after Eating

Make plans to feed the hungry through money donations, helping in a food kitchen, donating food, or any other way.

Part 14: Psalms of Praise – Hallel

1. Go around the table and express what each is thankful for.

2. Give each other hugs and kisses!

Part 15: Nirtza – Conclusion

1. Make the song “Who Knows One?” into a trivia game. Try to name the three fathers of Israel (hint: A…, I…, J…), the 4 mothers (S…, R…, R…, L…) the five books of the Torah (G…, E…, L…, N…, D…), the twelve tribes?

2. With the song Chad Gadya, “Just One Kid,” sing it like Old MacDonald, and make the appropriate sounds for each verse.

3. Next Year in Jerusalem! Sing the Israeli National Anthem, “Ha Tikvah” (“The Hope” in Hebrew). Kids can use kazoos.

To see the entire article please click here.

Rabbi Zoë Klein is Rabbi of Temple Isaiah, in Los Angeles, California.

Comments

  1. Very clever indeed!

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