PJ Library Grandparents: Celebrating Passover
There’s a line in the Haggadah (the ritual guidebook) that says, “and you shall teach it to your children.”* This makes Passover a perfect multi-generational experience. Whether you’ll be with your grandchild(ren) for the holiday or celebrating separately, The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and PJ Library want to support you in having a joyful, meaningful holiday.
We hope that these ideas and events will help you share the joy of Judaism with your grandchild(ren).
* This verse is found numerous times in the Torah and is repeated in the Haggadah.
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Tips for Connecting Around Passover
- Help your grandchild learn the Four Questions and discuss new questions you’d like to pose to the seder guests together.
- Have some budding performers in your family? Put them in charge of the Maggid (the telling of the story)! Use props from around the house, and have them practice it. For an easy script, use Let My People Go! by Tilda Balsley (which offer’s a readers’ theater version) or download one from the PJ Library Holiday Hub.
- Find and share family photos—your grandkids would love to see what their parents, grandparents and older generations looked like when they were younger!
- Passover is the e most celebrated holiday among Jewish families around the world. You can use this opportunity to learn about different Passover customs such as mimouna (celebrated among Moroccan Jews), Sephardic traditions, Ashkenazi traditions, or various recipes for charoset which reflect what is native and available in the spring in the given country where Jews are living. Learn together about more Passover traditions around the world and find the places on a map!
- Create Passover cards to share with Jewish military and veterans–cards can be store-bought or homemade. Sign up for the Military Mitzvah Passover Card Project and send your cards by March 29th.
- At Passover, we share the story of the Israelites leaving Egypt. Have you shared your family’s story about where you came from and when and how you moved? Now is a great time. You can write it down, make a video of yourself or use the StoryCorps app to record an oral history of your family.
- Whether it’s an adult experiencing Passover for the first time or a child who is new to all holidays, the Haggadah’s step-by-step instructions make everyone welcome. The PJ Library Haggadah is a great option that appeals to all ages, and Haggadot.com makes customizing a Haggadah for your family quick and easy.
- Jewish Grandparents: Here’s How to Talk About Passover and Easter with Your Interfaith Family (18Doors)
- Check out the 10-Minute Dayenu Seder from Jewish Grandparents Network
- For more ideas, there’s the Jewish Grandparent Network’s webinar, Grandparents, Bring Your Family Seder to Life
Additional Ideas for Celebrating Together In-Person
- Pick a recipe to teach your grandkid–is it a special family recipe or a new one you’ve wanted to try? Even the youngest kids can help roll matzah balls or smash walnuts in a plastic bag for charoset. Consider these kid-friendly knives as a new tool for your kitchen.
- Try your hand at Kosher Matzah Baking. All you need is flour and water and 18 minutes!
Staying Close Even When You Aren’t in the Same Room
- Create a scavenger hunt for the afikomen (the special piece of matzah hidden during the seder and found before the seder can end) for your grandchildren to find. (You’ll need to get their parents’ help to hide the matzah.) Create clues to email them, or have them FaceTime you, and you can say, “Hot/Cold/Warm/Cool,” depending on how close or far they get. It doesn’t have to be the afikomen but could be any surprise you choose for them to find.
- Consider sharing recipes and having the different households cook the same menu. That way, everyone can enjoy Bubbie’s (Grandma’s) brisket, Aunt Rachel’s chicken soup, or Cousin Joshua’s macaroons. (Everyone will have to do their own dishes though!)
- If you can’t get together, consider a virtual seder. There are community experiences, or do yours on Skype, Zoom or HouseParty.