Passover 2020 begins at sundown Wed., April 8th.
These last minute Passover preparations include a family virtual Seder tips to replace the traditional gathering during these days of stay-at-home rules, joining the world’s largest virtual seder, a virtual Saturday Night Seder featuring top Broadway and TV stars, and downloadable Hagaddahs to replace the treasured family heirlooms for this annual celebration of freedom and hope.
Here are FREE resources for holiday recipes, greeting cards, tips for FaceTime or Zoom seders, games for kids, and more.
The Virtual Seder
Connect with family via FaceTime or Zoom, as my own family is doing, Or join the World’s Largest Virtual Seder.
The 11th plague just hit, and we cannot leave our homes for Passover, but we can connect from afar for the World’s Largest Virtual Seder!
Learn more about it here:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 902 560 802
For the observant, Chabad recommends starting before the traditional Seder, but these tips also work for secular Jews with young families.
Set the table early, so you can share what it’s going to look like.
Bathe and dress the kids before you start streaming so they can be fully present (and super cute-looking) when they are on camera.
If you are in different time zones, start early enough so that whoever lives furthest to the east will be able to sign off before candle-lighting arrives in their time zone.
Since my own family is in NYC, LA and points in between, this is an especially useful suggestion.
While the Passover mitzvahs (eating matzah and marror, drinking four cups, telling the story of Exodus) must be done after nightfall, dipping the karpas in salt-water may be done symbolically earlier, so you can do that together over FaceTime or Zoom.
An added bonus:
Since the Seder begins after nightfall, which is way past the usual bed-time for most small children, a pre-Seder FaceTime or Zoom conference means the kids will be seen by their grandparents before they over-tired and cranky with hunger waiting for the Hagaddah service to finish.
World’s Largest Virtual Seder
East End Temple in NYC is sponsoring the World’s Largest Virtual Seder on the second night of Passover, Thurs., April 9th.
Learn more about it here:
Join Zoom Meeting
- Meeting ID: 902 560 802
Saturday Night Seder
Why is this night different from all other nights? Because it’s live from all over, featuring a galaxy of Broadway and TV stars telling the story of Passover interspersed with some entertainment.
Saturday Night Seder also is a benefit for the CDC Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund, so donations will be greatly appreciated.
Saturday Night Seder stars include – alphabetically –
Pamela Adlon, Mayim Bialik, Rachel Brosnahan, Andy Cohen, Darren Criss, Fran Drescher, Cynthia Erivo, Harvey Fierstein, Josh Groban, Judith Light, Alan Menken, Idina Menzel, Debra Messing, Bette Midler, Isaac Mizrahi, Billy Porter and Henry Winkler.
It begins at 8pm Saturday on the East Coast.
Free Passover Recipes
Chabad also has dozens of FREE Passover recipes, representing the many lands and many culinary traditions of the Jewish Disapora.
Free Downloadable Hagaddahs
Click here for traditional English and Hebrew versions.
Find more modern Haggadah ideas on the website www.myjewishlerning.com
If a long, traditional Seder is not your thing, and you prefer something faster, download this two-page 10-minute Hagaddah.
It’s perfect for young families, for those leading a Seder for the first time, and for those who are more secular than religious.
Free Virtual Greetings
Send FREE greetings to family and friends for Pesach.
These are virtual cards with Jewish themes suitable for children or for grownups
Once again this year, Chabad offers FREE virtual greetings, especially important in this year of the Coronavirus pandemic, when so many family events and synagogue services in NYC and nationwide sadly must be cancelled.
Passover is a festival of freedom, commemorating the Exodus from slavery in Egypt, under the leadership of Moses, following the final of the Ten Plagues – death of a family’s firstborn son – which finally convinced the Egyptian Pharoah to agree to the plea of Moses to “let my people go”.
Jews knew this final plague was coming, and told to mark their doorposts with lamb’s blood to identify them as Jews, and shelter in place.
So it is not without irony that we celebrate Passover in 2020 under the shadow of another plague – or more precisely, a pandemic by the name of Coronavirus and the illness it causes, Covid-19.
Today, we replace lamb’s blood with facemasks and hand santizer as elements of our will to survive and live in freedom.
It is also not without irony that many of us will have to forego the main Passover ritual with family and friends, the Seder, because of travel restrictions and others banning the gathering of more than a few people.
The Seder normally is a festive family meal that includes the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and special foods relating to both the slavery experience and the Exodus itself.
Those foods include maror, or bitter herbs, representing the bitterness of slavery, and matzoh, unleavened bread which was quick and easy to make on the move in the desert.
Another important part of the Seder plate is a lamb bone, usually a lamb shank, which represents the lamb’s blood that was smeared on Jewish doorposts on the night of the final 10 Plagues, to protect those inside from the Angel of Death coming to slaughter a family’s first-born son.
That was the last supper before the Egyptian pharaoh finally agreed to the demand of Moses to “let my people go!”
The Seder’s rituals and other readings are outlined in the Haggadah.
Passover 2020 Dates
Passover 2020 begins at sundown on April 8th continues for eight days and ends at sundown on Thursday, April 16th.
Evelyn Kanter also is the author of several NYC and Hudson Valley guidebooks, including my latest, 100 Things to Do in NYC Before You Die.
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