Passover is coming! Are you prepared? by Rabbi Dusty Klass

Passover is coming! Are you prepared?
(Imagine an encouraging smile from me. Take a deep breath, and keep reading.)
Don’t worry, I’m not ready yet either!

There are so many ways to celebrate, and so many options for how we might choose to make the seder “our own.” Below, a definitely NOT exhaustive of some of my favorite online finds, with gratitude to Susan Jacobs and Julie Dalli for their contributions.

Please share your own favorites in the comments section below!

Fully downloadable online Haggadot:

1. Velveteen Rabbis Haggadah for Pesach

This free, fully downloadable haggadah compiled by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat (aka “the Velveteen Rabbi”) was a lifesaver for me when I was 21, still just “Dusty,” and leading Passover seder for the first time…in Dublin, Ireland.

Check it out if:
a) you like variety – there are three or four “four children” options!
b) you are partial to poetry. My favorite of this haggadah, “Ready,” can be found on page 28.
b) need a haggadah and don’t want to purchase one or compile your own.


2. Next Year in a Just World: A Global Justice Haggadah

Also free and fully downloadable (and colorful!), this haggadah produced by American Jewish World Services seeks to “connect our [Jewish] story with those of people who suffer from a range of issues that matter deeply today: refugee crises and genocide, global hunger, poverty, violence against women and LGBT people, and the persecution of minorities.”

Check it out if:
a) you get fired up about changing the world.
b) you want to be challenged to create a more just community.
c) you think it is important to connect our story of oppression with the story of oppression others are living in 2017.


3. The Gateways Haggaddah: A Seder for the Whole Family

While this is not a free download and must be purchased, it is a wonderful resource for families with young kids and kids with special needs. In its own words, “The Gateways Haggadah utilizes over 150 picture communication symbols … that assist individuals in overcoming speech, language and learning challenges. The Haggadah also includes step-by-step photographs that illustrate what to do throughout the Seder.”

Check it out if:
a) you like pictures!
b) you have children who would benefit from a visual rather than super-wordy representation of the ritual and symbolic aspects of the seder.


Seder Supplements:

Social-Justice Oriented:

Passover lends itself well to a conversation the work we still have ahead of us in tikkun olam, world repair. As such, the internet abounds with a plethora of supplements centered around the various issues we face in 2017:

Includes a reframing of the four cups of wine around awakening, solidarity, action, and freedom

In light of the famous pronouncement, “My father was a wandering Aramean…,” opportunities to include refugee stories in your seder from HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

From the International Rescue Committee, inspired by the film “The Zookeepers Wife.” I was particularly touched by “The Four Heroes,” which can be inserted after the Four Children section of the seder (see page 8 of the PDF)


Kid-friendly additions:

How to keep the young (and young-at-heart 😉 ) entertained during the pre-food portion of your seder? Check out the below:

G-dcast offers many great education tools and this is no exceptions. Find here:

a) an animated video exploring the idea of the four sons
b) three different apps that “encourage problem solving, Jewish values, and sharing.”

Scroll down for downloadable coloring pages (word searches and crossword puzzles kids can complete during the seder, among other resources)

Download-and-printable plagues finger puppets!


More resources!:

A collection of articles on everything from how to choose a Passover Haggadah to K4P (Kosher for Passover) recipes to “10 Tips for a Less Stressful Passover,” from super-solid Jewish education resource website My Jewish Learning

A rundown of sixteen “Unique Haggadot” from

An explanation of some (though not all!) of the seder plate additions that have become tradition in homes across the globe

Our Discovered Traditions Gift Shop has a wide array of Passover resources which include seder plates and haggadot, an array of fun ten plagues collections for the kids, matzah earrings (!) and Kosher for Passover treats to purchase as gifts or for your own seder table.

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