Passover is here! It’s officially time to break out your seder plate, hide the afikomen, and remember all of those creative ways you can replace bread with matzah (matzah pizza, anyone?).
Holidays like Passover are always more fun and meaningful when you celebrate with your friends, so this year, we're helping over 400 of you host NEXT Passover Seders, helping to cover the cost of food and providing you with the resources you need to make it happen.
Registration for our grants has already closed, but we still have plenty of resources including free downloadable haggadot, recipes and more, so check them out below. You can get first dibs on opportunities like NEXT Passover Seder grants in the future by joining us on Facebook, where we launch our programs first.
We also want to help you get inspired by modern Exodus stories. Many Jews around the world have only recently gained the freedom to live and celebrate openly as Jews, including those in communities like the Former Soviet Union and Ethiopia. Our friends at JDC Entwine will help you spread awareness of these amazing stories at your seders and show you how you can help these communities thrive.
I need a quick refresher on Passover. What are we celebrating?
Passover was once a spring harvest festival in ancient Israel. Now, it’s celebrated to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt, when the Jews escaped to freedom from the tyranny and slavery they endured under the rule of Pharaoh. Today, it’s one of the most commonly celebrated Jewish holidays. Passover’s themes, freedom and redemption, also invite us to consider the way our freedom is challenged today through modern-day slavery. Learn more about how you can make a difference.
Tell me more about the seder.
The seder (“order”) is the ritual meal that Jews host in their homes in celebration of Passover. At the seder, a book called the haggadah (“the telling”) is used to tell the story of Passover, incorporating all kinds of rituals and symbols to help us connect with the meaning of the holiday.
Why do Jews stop eating bread during Passover?
Many Jews will put aside bread and leavened bread products like cake, cookies, and cereal during the week of Passover to honor the memory of the Jews’ escape from Egypt. According to the Exodus story, the Hebrew slaves fled Egypt so quickly that they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. Matzah is bread that is made without yeast, making it “unleavened,” and symbolizing the haste with which the Jews acted so that they could be free. But don’t fear: there are plenty of great ways to use matzah during the week of Passover. Check out our Pinterest board for recipe ideas.
Want to learn more about Passover? Need a haggadah or some readings for your seder? Check out these great resources:
1. MyJewishLearning.com has lots of background information on Passover, offers a fun Passover quiz, and shows you how to conduct a seder.
2. There are plenty of free haggadot online, as well as readings that will help you customize your seder:
A complete English Haggadah (with Hebrew available) from Chabad.org
Some neat, modern questions to add to your seder, courtesy of the Jewish Meditation Center of Brooklyn
Essays and insights on justice through food in the Uri L’Tzedek Social Justice Haggadah Supplement
Readings that will help link your seder to social justice from American Jewish World Service
A seder guide for "welcoming the stranger" and honoring refugees from Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
3. Our Pinterest board is full of great Passover seder ideas, including recipes, seder table designs, and more.
Still got questions on how to host your own seder? We’re here to help. Contact us at email@example.com.