Passover: Reimagining Your Family Seder

The Passover Seder belongs to you. Yes, there are traditions — symbols, foods, words, songs. But real magic and meaning are found not in the past, but in what you make of it: when you take the rituals of your ancestors and make them your own

Last year, only weeks into the pandemic, Passover for many felt like chaos and compromise. This year, with Passover still weeks away, you have time to create personalization and intention for a virtual family Seder or a pod of vaccinated family. Zoom by now is more familiar. I’m even video chatting with my grandmother these days!

Here are five ideas to help you plan, elevate, and make the most of OneTable Nourishment at your intergenerational Seder this Passover.

Lead the Way, Part the Sea

Zoom with family and friends near and far. This is a chance for you to take the reins or co-lead for a genuinely intergenerational experience. Create a calendar invitation. Help those who might not be super comfortable navigating the online registration process. Encourage your guests to play around with their table/tech set up to find the perfect Seder balance.

Gif of Rugrats Passover movie, splitting the sea with staff
gif of 4 people starting a relay race

Keep What Works and Leave the Rest

Traditional Passover Seder can feel like a marathon, but it doesn’t have to be. Imagine it more like a relay race! Ask others if they would mind reading, sharing, and contributing thoughts and experiences. You don’t have to read or sing or do every single thing in the Haggadah – the complete text for Passover Seder includes a narrative of the Exodus. Consider reviewing our Passover resources and picking some favorite readings and conversation starters to share with your group. 

Who’s on First(born)?

The day before Passover is marked by some with a fast undertaken by the first born individual in a family — it commemorates the last of the ten plagues, the slaying of the firstborn in Egypt. While the practice might be far afield for many of us, it’s an opportunity to hold tradition in one hand and innovation in the other. Are you or any of your guests the firstborn of their family? How might you elevate their role at the Seder in a way that is both reflective and fun? Maybe the firstborn has a unique responsibility at the table, or maybe there’s one thing they can’t eat, but they don’t know what it is, and everyone else at the table has to make sure they don’t eat it while they guess over the course of the meal what it is. Don’t be afraid to have fun! Joy is part of the journey.

Abbott + Costello's Who's on First

Where you at, Afikoman?

We hide, we eat, we seek. Finding the afikoman, the centerpiece of matzah that we hide early on in the Seder, is usually a highlight for the youngest at the table. Why should they have all the fun? Consider how you might hide the afikoman somewhere that is discernible (while still sneaky) in your visible Zoom background, and ask all of your guests, regardless of age, to direct you to find it. 

Welcome, One and All!

Know who loves a good Seder? Pretty much everyone. Consider rolling out the virtual red carpet to as many folks as possible — Jewish or not, near or far, friends and family. It’s a chance to share your story and your connection to the more significant story of what it means to be Jewish and challenge yourself to consider that answer perhaps for the first time.

Tracee Ellis Ross waving hello to the camera

Wonder why OneTable is supporting folks to host Passover Seder when our focus is usually Shabbat dinner? 

We recognize that the pandemic has made it harder than ever to gather with intention, and we want to support as many people as possible to nourish themselves and their families. Even if you’ve never created a OneTable dinner before, we invite you to host your family for Passover this year! And if you can do it on Passover, you can do it on Shabbat.

Whether you are gathering virtually or in-person with your pod or vaccinated friends and family, post your Seder on onetable.org and join a growing movement of hospitality, connection, and creativity. We can’t wait to hear about your Seder!

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