When Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) and Easter coincide, it can feel like the springtime version of the “December dilemma.” For kids, getting to celebrate both holidays means a weekend of big meals, family fun, and a chance to fine tune their afikomen or egg hunting skills. For grown-ups, things can seem a bit more fraught, especially when non-Jewish family members may be attending their first seder--how do you ensure that every one feels included?
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Happily, Passover is a wonderful opportunity to practice the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests. Prepping guests for their first seder doesn't have to be stressful -- it can, in fact, be a great bonding experience. Both Passover and Lent, the lead up to Easter, encourage making sacrifices, or giving things up as well as time for reflection, community, and gratitude.
Here are some tips for interfaith families to help introduce Passover to your extended families and make some special new traditions of your own.
Read a Story Together
If your children’s grandparents or favorite aunt or cousin aren’t Jewish, use story time as a way to introduce them to Passover traditions and customs. Stories are also a great, low barrier way to also discuss common themes and symbols across holidays. Books like Company's Coming by Joan Holub and More Than Enough: A Passover Story by April Halprin Wayland are a great primer for preschoolers and grown-ups about Passover customs. Find more story ideas here.
Do Some Prep
You can do a mitzvah by helping your guests know what to expect at seder so they feel welcome and “in the know” as everything happens during the evening. Watch the video above or share PJ Library's What Happens at a Seder guide ahead of time.
Make Your Own Special Haggadah
Choose a Haggadah that includes both Hebrew and English translations so that guests who are not familiar with blessings can follow along. You can add your own inclusive blessings, or passages that are important to your family as well. Find some ideas for customizable haggadot and downloadable Haggadah options. You can also purchase the PJ Library Haggadah on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
Pass your Haggadah around and assign sections to different participants. During the maggid, the Passover story section of the seder, get a little dramatic or use puppets for the kids and kids at heart. Need a kid-friendly activity for your seder? Check out the activities section of the PJ Library Passover hub.
Involve the Kids
Kids are fantastic ice breakers--they just want to have fun and play. Follow their lead! Play games, hunt for the afikomen, make tablescapes or build pyramids, from blocks, or even ice-cream, with them before and after the meal. For more ideas, see 9 Must-Haves for a Child-Friendly Seder.
Play or Listen to Music
Dig out some instruments and play music together or put on a special seder playlist. Download the JKids Radio app and stream music to sing along to during dinner.
Related: Learn the Music in the Haggadah
What to do When Passover Falls on Good Friday via kveller.com
Passover and Easter Coexist in Southern Dry Rub Brisket via InterfaithFamily.com
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Visit the PJ Library Passover Hub for Passover recipes, stories, child-friendly Seder activities, and more!
April 15, 2019