Making Passover Fun for Your Children

By Gabrielle Burger, Director, Jewish Educational Engagement, Macks Center for Jewish Education

Passover is one of my favorite Jewish holidays! I love the food, the time with family, and the child-centric focus of the holiday.

The Torah teaches us “You shall tell your child on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what The LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'” (Exodus 13:8). Memory and legacy are integral parts of the Passover holiday. Many see this passage as a mandate to tell the story of Passover to others, especially the children.

How can we make the story of Passover or the time spent reading the Haggadah inviting and engaging to children? At my home we have Passover puppets for the kids to use and hands-on activities for the children to do during the reading of the Haggadah that can help them stay involved. Since before we were taken out of Egypt, we were slaves, and now we are free, we lean to the left during certain parts of the meal to symbolize our freedom.

Many people bring pillows to the table to make the leaning that much more comfortable. One of my favorite pre-Passover activities is making a no-sew leaning pillow for everyone to have at the Seder. You can find instructions on how to make one here

What is a great PJ Library Passover book to read to your children? One of my favorites is And Then Another Sheep Turned Up written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Amy Adele. This story emulates the Haggadah passage “All who are hungry, come eat. All who are needy, come join the Passover celebration.” Every turn of the page brings another unexpected guest to the Passover Seder, and the Sheep family always makes room and is happy to see them!

This is a great message to teach our children. Sharing that which we are lucky to have, as well as being gracious hosts, are wonderful messages for our children to learn at our tables.

Looking for new Passover recipes or a new Haggadah for your Passover meal? Look no further than the CJE library! Jessica Fink, our librarian, has collected over 50 different Haggadah’s and cookbooks for the whole family. Her favorite is Haggadah is The Gateways Haggadah by Rebecca Redner, and her favorite cookbook is The New Yiddish Kitchen, by Simone Miller and Jennifer Robins. This gluten free and Paleo cookbook has something for every holiday. Turn to page 239 to get your Passover cooking started!

For more information, or to pick-up a free set of Got Forth and Learn – A Passover Haggadah by Rabbi David Silber with Rachel Furst for your family (while supplies last), call Jessica at 410-735-5017.

What’s a great Passover dessert to make with your kids? My favorite Passover dessert is chocolate covered matzah. This is so easy to make and is finger-licking good!

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