How to do Passover 2020

Temple Israel wants to ensure you have everything you need to create a meaningful Passover experience for you and your family. Below you will find some resources to aid you in preparing for your “quarantined” seder! Don’t worry about the Seder(s) you’re not having! Do what you can and whatever that is, dayenu – enough!

Zooming Passover? We can help!

We at Temple Israel have been using Zoom to do our meetings, Shabbat Torah Study, even our Women’s seder! We think it’s one of the best platforms out there (and you can set up a free account) But it is not the only option! Here are some steps to get you started:

Choose your platform
You can execute a “seder” or just a Passover family get together by using – Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facetime, Facebook Messenger Video Call, Skype, GoToMeeting, and Slack Video Call (and these are just a few options).

Get your guests ready
Make sure that all of your guests have whatever platform you choose installed and know how to use it. Maybe even host a “preparing ourselves for the seder” call with everyone so that you can all get used to how the tech will work ahead of time!

Try to do more than gather
If you choose a platform like zoom you can prepare a presentation. This will allow you to “screen share” what page you are on of a haggadah or reading, or share other resources or images, to all of your participants.

Make it interactiveDoes your conferencing platform allow for chat? Reactions? Breakout Rooms? Q&A? Polling? Get to know the features ahead of time so that you can allow for friends and family to really dive into your seder! Make a teen/tween or tech savvy adult a “co-host” to help do this while you lead the seder parts!

Make it accessible to everyone
Phone calls can also work in tandem with or instead of video calls! People can often call in to platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, and Skype with their telephone. If zoom is too complicated – just let someone call in!

Choosing the perfect Haggadah? We can help!

Temple Israel gathered a comprehensive list of Haggadot that you can use/scan/present in digital form:

Use the Haggadah that YOU love
If you have one at home that everyone can use but want to make sure your “Zoom” guests are on the “same page” – simply scan the pages you want to use and either email them ahead of the seder or “share your screen” so they can follow along in the webinar. Before scanning check the world-wide-web! So many publishers are sensitive to this moment and are offering PDF versions of their Haggadah!

Use the Haggadah that WE love
Temple Israel Clergy have all used this Haggadah one year or another and we even used it at our Second Night Seder a few years back. They are all available (for FREE) in PDF!

Try something Smart, Sassy, and Sure to Entertain
Check out; a dynamic and interactive website that seeks to demystify many Jewish practices with guides, cheat sheets and activity suggestions for Jewish holidays and lifecycle events. Their Haggadah will surely bring some laughter and smiles this Passover and they too have a PDF available for free download!

Find a Haggadah that’s tailored to YOUR family is an incredible resource that enables you to choose from a variety of styles and themes or even create your own (if you find you have extra time on your hands) Here is just a sampling:

  • Comedy Seder: Favorite clips for a not-so-serious Passover Seder. Parodies, skits, memes and more!
  • Liberal Seder: A selection of contemporary interpretations & readings, with many clips from, as well as original illustrations from the design team.
  • Family Seder: Includes over 80 selections of songs, activities, jokes & simple explanations of ritual for kids & teens.

Stand Up (while sitting) for Justice

  • AJC Haggadah Insert: Include a supplemental reading developed for your use at the Seder. The two-page insert includes a meaningful prayer and a communal responsive reading, written by AJC’s Rabbi Noam Marans, related to holding the Passover Seder under unusual circumstances created by the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Ma Nishtana: A Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Ally Haggadah which follows the traditional structure of the Passover Seder but contains readings and discussion questions pertaining to GLBT identity and life.
  • Earth Justice Seder Haggadah: Focusing on climate change and the environment, the Reform Movement’s Religious Action Center offers this free download to be used as a companion to your favorite Haggadah or as an independent Haggadah.
  • American Jewish World Service “Next Year in a Just World” Haggadah: A downloadable Haggadah and other resources to spark meaningful conversations at your Seder and connect our shared story of liberation with fighting for freedom around the world today.

Use a PowerPoint Haggadah created by your very own Clergy and Educators
We have created slides for three different online experiences – simply use ours to create a wonderful seder for family and friends!

Need more guidance? We can help!

We know these are strange times, and gathering materials to ready yourself for even an abbreviated version of a Seder might feel overwhelming in the midst of this pandemic. Your Temple Israel Clergy and Staff are here to help. If you need further guidance in tackling the virtual seder please don’t hesitate to reach out.

We wish you a Zissun Pesach – a Passover of joy that brings much needed healing, health, freedom and peace to our community, our people here and everywhere, our great NYC , State of NY, our country, and all people everywhere!

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