Pesach / Passover
Erev Pesach, March 27
In this unprecedented time, we will do our best to provide guidance, support, and thoughtful sacred contributions to making your Pesach experience nurturing, meaningful, and memorable. All resources that we develop/discover can be found here (as orange clickable links) throughout the Pesach season.
Are you planning on hosting a virtual seder for either the 1st or 2nd night of Pesach?
If so, would you be open to including a few other guests OR are you looking to join a virtual seder?
Please contact Sara so we can figure this out together!
Join a Virtual Seder (not specific to Shir Tikvah):
19th Annual Freedom Seder (JCA) 2 – 4 p.m. Sunday, March 14. $36 suggested donation
Virtual Freedom Seder (JFCS & Jewish Recovery Network) 7:30 – 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 31
Local resources for ordering a packaged Seder Meal
Looking for Judaica?
Heritage Judaica has free Jewish ritual items (and so much more)!
HIAS Haggadah (HIAS)
JewBelong Haggadah & overview (JewBelong)
Kveller Haggadah (Kveller)
Mixed Multitudes: Nobody’s Free ’til Everybody’s Free (Jews For Racial & Economic Justice)
Queer Liberation Haggadah (available in regular & large print and Braille printer compatible)
For Families with Young Children
Paperbacks or digital downloads of family Haggadot from Kar-Ben, a local publishing house
Passover Memories & Stories from Shir Tikvah Sara Lahyani, our Director of Congregational Engagement & Events, has made a special request to help create a space of familiarity, family, and community, albeit a virtual space; she has begun gathering stories of Pesach & Seder meals past from members of our community, which we will be updating throughout Pesach. If you wish to submit one, please email Sara
My father had 9 siblings. When I was 12 years old, my Aunt Flossie was near the end of her life, having been diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer. Passover was just a couple of weeks away. My parents decided to host a Seder in our basement for all of the siblings and their families. They came from Montreal, D.C., Boston, upstate NY as well as New York City. My Dad made a huge table out of composite wood and added legs to it. We about 25 relatives attended.
My most wonderful memory of that Seder is after the meal, we played records. My Dad, who had been stationed in Hawai'i during World War II had a hula record. I had never seen it before. He put it on and got up and did the most beautifully graceful Hula I have ever seen. And then my six Aunts got up and did their own weird versions of the hula with him. We all laughed hysterically, knowing this would be the last time we were all together.
I will never forget the exquisite feeling of happiness combined with the impending grief that permeated the room.
This year I am especially remembering the Passover seders that my friends and I held when we were in graduate school in Madison in the 90s. Some years I cohosted with my roommate, who was also Jewish. Some years, I attended my friend Bethel's. The food and the readings all varied. And the timing was awful--just as we were all getting ready for final papers! Nonetheless, a group of us consistently got together every year, choosing meaningful readings and spending a lot of time working on the food. Each year, it was wonderful. The seder lasted hours and we all felt like we'd accomplished something by the time it was over. This year, I am thinking a lot about our ability to improvise when we were far from our families. I am really pulling on the warmth, ingenuity, and friendship of those years as I work to make a seder this year, under differently precarious circumstances.
One of my earliest memories of Pesach was the annual model seder that my school used to host every year. The entire school with all of the kids from kindergarten through eighth grade would be gathered around a very large seder table (it was a small Jewish private school) and each child had a part, whether it was a section to read from the (somewhat abbreviated version of the) Hagadah or to share the symbolism behind the many traditions all throughout the seder, (such as dipping our pinkies into the grape juice, that carpas is representative of spring, that the charoset is meant to be the mortar that the slaves used to build the pyramids, the Hillel sandwich, and so on). Parents were invited to attend and sit proudly, waiting for their child to say their line or sing their song.
Later, at my family’s seder, my school hagadah right in front of me, and my father at the head of the table, we would redo the seder as we had done at school just a few days before. To this day, I still sing the songs in the same melodies, and still think fondly on all the many seders I’ve been a part of over the years and how they were all anchored by my father at the helm and by our annual school seder.