Last Minute Ideas for a Great Kid-Friendly Passover Seder

You still have time to make this the best Passover ever!

OK, so first of all…take a deep breath. Passover begins Friday night and there’s no way we’re going to be ready. In that respect, if you think about it, nothing has changed since the original Passover night more than 3,000 years ago! We weren’t ready then and we’re not ready now. Feeling better? I didn’t think so.

Because while in some ways nothing has changed in other ways everything has changed. And the key to having a great Passover Seder is to take into account both of those realities. Here are some hopefully helpful hints:

1) “It’s Not The Haggadah That Makes The Seder.” There are some wonderful Passover Haggadahs to choose from: Vegetarian, Feminist, Chinese. Trust me. You don’t have time for this. Download a free Haggadah from Shop Rite or JewishFreeware.org. and put “Look for new Passover Haggadah” on your things-to-do list for 5773.

2) “The Seder Starts With You.” The whole point of Passover is to imagine ourselves in the process of moving from slavery to freedom. And the key to a successful Seder is how real that experience can be made for everyone at your table. So here’s an idea: email everyone on your guest list and ask them to bring one (hopefully provocative) question about freedom to ask at the Seder. If you’re lucky, one of the children will ask: “If I’m free, why do I have to go to bed at 8:30?!” (I’m not kidding.) And while you have your address book open, consider also emailing your guests a link to the video “Who Let The Jews Out?”  and to an Interactive Seder Plate.

3) “Have fun!” Use props to keep the kids engaged. An Interactive Seder with rubber frogs thrown on the table, and sand on the floor can be a big hit.

4) “Sing!” Don’t know Hebrew? Parody song lyrics in English have been a Jewish tradition for years now and really spice up the evening. You can download The World’s Largest Seder Songbook for free. A few of my own parody lyrics are included; and one more—a parody of the still wildly popular "Dynomite" written too late to be included this year’s book—appears below.

Enjoy! And next year, may we all be free!

Rabbi Mark Sameth is the spiritual leader of Joyful Judaism: Pleasantville Community Synagogue an inclusive, progressive synagogue—with members from twenty towns, villages and cities all across Westchester and “A Hebrew School Your Kids Can Love.” Read The New York Times article. Please Note: Passover Services at Pleasantville Community Synagogue will be held this week at 10 a.m. on Saturday April 7, and again at 10 a.m. Sunday April 8. (9 a.m. Meditation resumes the following week). Everyone—without exception—is welcome and warmly invited.



Mo' threw his hands up in the air that time saying 

"Pharaoh, gotta let go!"

We wanna celebrate and live our lives saying 

"Pharaoh, baby let's go!"


Give us a chance, chance, chance, chance, chance

We gotta go 'cause that's God's plans, plans, plans, plans

We're gonna live on manna plants, plants, plants, plants

Shakin' the sand out of our pants, pants, pants, pants

Ye, Ye

Cause it goes on and on and on

And it goes on and on and on



Mo' threw his hands up in the air that time saying  

"Pharaoh, gotta let go!" 

We wanna celebrate and live our lives saying  

"Pharaoh, baby let's go!"

Don't try to block this club, we gon' go tonight

God gon' split the sea like it's Dynomite

'Cause I told you once now I told you twice

God gon' split the sea like it's Dynamite!


We gotta move, move, move, move

Get out the way me and my Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews

Or face the plagues (it's yours to choose, choose, choose, choose)

But there's no way we're gonna lose, lose, lose, lose

Cause it goes on and on and on

And it goes on and on and on, Yeah!




God's gonna take us all                                                           

Won't be no slaves in Egypt standing

A big Pharaonic fall

We're on our way to the Promised Land and

I, I, I believe it

And I, I, I

I hear Freedom's call! I hear Freedom's call!   




Rabbi Mark Sameth, Passover, 5772

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cristina Altieri-Martinez April 04, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Great tips, Rabbi Mark! We will keep some in mind this Friday.


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