Springtime Passover Dinner

Passover is a springtime holiday marking the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt and celebrating their freedom from slavery. This 8-day festival is a joyous occasion observed with many special foods and customs, beginning with a ceremonial dinner called the Seder. During Passover, only unleavened breads, such as matzoh, may be eaten.


The Seder
The Seder is a special dinner featuring readings from a sacred text called the Haggadah. Using all of the senses, the Passover Seder recounts the story of the Jews' exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery and calls the participants to experience and share in the story as their own.

During the Seder, symbolic foods are eaten in a specific order (the word "seder" means order in Hebrew) along with four cups of wine. While the service is traditionally led by the head of the household, friends and family members also participate, with the youngest child asking the "four questions" in step five.

  1. A special blessing and first cup of wine.
  2. Washing of hands.
  3. Dipping parsley or celery in salt water and blessing.
  4. Breaking the middle matzoh, saving the afikoman, or larger piece, for later
  5. Telling the Passover story, asking the "four questions" and drinking a second cup of wine.
  6. Second washing of hands followed by a blessing.
  7. Traditional blessing for the bread.
  8. Eating the matzoh. 9. Eating maror, or bitter herbs.
  9. Eating a sandwich of matzoh and maror.
  10. Serving the holiday meal.
  11. Eating the afikoman or large piece of matzoh from step 4.
  12. Blessing and drinking the third cup of wine to welcome Elijah.
  13. Recital of the Hallel.
  14. Drinking the fourth cup of wine and conclusion of the Seder.

Making Passover fun for kids
Kids love to be included in holiday planning, and this is a perfect opportunity to make Passover more meaningful through games and crafts that teach as they entertain.

Learning games
Kids will enjoy "20 questions" or trivia-style games featuring historical figures such as Elijah, Moses and Pharaoh. Tailor questions to the appropriate age level; older children will enjoy making up questions for younger kids and helping to explain the answers.

Holiday crafts
Many craft ideas can be found on the internet using simple household materials. Type "passover crafts" or "passover activities" into the search box on Google for a wealth of ideas. Kids will enjoy making Seder place mats and matzoh covers or decorating inexpensive goblets for the table. If you're entertaining several children, have them make Pharaoh masks or enact stories such as Moses parting the Red Sea.


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