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Mar 15 2013

Changing Up The Passover Seder, One Tradition at a Time

By at 1:25 pm

Passover calendarFrom the outside, it might seem as if we set out to dismantle Passover seders one stalwart tradition at a time.

However, when I think back, Passover and seders have always had iconoclastic twists, although early on I wasn’t aware there was anything questionable about ours; we just had seder in this particular way, with this particular group of folks. For me, seder was always a woman-run affair; my mother and her good friend, Flora, did a second night seder together all through growing up and into adulthood (and often still). Around the time Flora lost her husband, my mother got divorced; both had young children and decided to team up for Passover. Infamously, Flora’s father-in-law (I think, I’m in apocryphal territory here) was an initial naysayer to the idea. Essentially, his objection went like this: girls cannot take the seder helm.

This was the 70s. Sisterhood was powerful (still is). Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 14 2013

10 Ways to Add Some Girl Power to Your Seder

By at 5:03 pm

orange for the seder plateWhether you weave in one, a few, or all 10 of these tips, consider honoring the matriarchal roots of Judaism this Passover with a little girl power fun at your seder this year.

1. Add an Orange & Coffee Bean to Your Seder Plate

The Orange: The orange represents both inclusion and solidarity with women and the LGBT community. The new tradition was started by Professor Susannah Heschel, who was inspired by women at Oberlin College in 1984 who made space on their seder plate to represent all who were not explicitly present in the Passover story. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 13 2013

Free Stuff Alert: Deluxe Passover Story Set

By at 1:44 pm

passover story set with dollsLooking for another way to make the seder more interactive and fun for the kids this year? Treehouse Kids make handmade dolls and toys, and this year they’re debuting the Deluxe Passover Story Set and it’s one of the cutest Passover toys we’ve seen.

Complete with little wooden peg people representing each of the 10 plagues, special Moses and Pharaoh figurines, and a bracket to make your own matzah tent, you’ll be all set to retell the story of Passover in a truly fun way. The set is a $36 value, but we’re giving one away to a lucky Kveller reader. Bonus: If you don’t win, or can’t wait to get your own, Treehouse Kids is offering Kveller readers a 10% discount off any items in their Etsy Shop. Just enter the coupon code MATZAH at checkout. Read the rest of this entry →

Passover Shopping Guide: Choosing a Haggadah

By at 11:52 am

happy passover haggadah

Seder plate? Check. Matzah? Check. Actual text you need to read at the seder?

Oh yeah. If you’re looking for a great haggadah to guide your family through the Passover seder, here are our favorite picks.

1. A Happy Passover Haggadah ($29.94) This is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing haggadot we’ve seen, and it’s perfect for the whole family. With both Hebrew and English illustrated with bright bold colors, this hardcover book is a great addition to the seder. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 8 2013

Friday Night: Should We Cut Back on the Cutesy 10 Plagues Stuff?

By at 2:03 pm
10 plague masks

Fun or frightening?

Sometimes the most thought-provoking questions aren’t posed by our writers, but rather, by our readers. And so it was that last week, after Kveller posted on Facebook about a free Passover giveaway of nail decals illustrated with pictures of the 10 plagues that one reader commented, “I was just wondering if I was the only one who thinks death and destruction aren’t cute…Which finger should we put the dead babies on?”

Yikes. And…touché. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 7 2013

Passover Shopping Guide 2013: Setting the Seder Table

By at 5:01 pm

Once you’ve got the seder plate covered, there’s still a few more things you might need for your seder table. Take a look through some of our favorite items available today, like multi-purpose kiddish cups and matzah-themed everything. Happy shopping!

1. Michael Aram Wisteria Kiddish Cup ($85) This beautiful stainless steel kiddish cup is a work of art for your Passover table.

wisteria kiddish cup

Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 6 2013

Passover Shopping Guide: Keeping Kids Entertained at the Seder

By at 3:24 pm

If getting the kids through dinner on a regular night is hard, Passover dinner is a whole different beast. The seder is long, you can see and smell the food but you aren’t supposed to eat it yet, and all the adults are drinking too much wine. Enter these invaluable little items, all Passover-approved and ready to keep the kids occupied.

1. Inflatable Pharaoh Punching Bag Pack of 3 ($27.50) Help them get out all that ancient frustration (and give their siblings a break from torment).

inflatable pharaoh punching bag

Read the rest of this entry →

Passover Planning: What to Do Three Weeks Before the Seder

By at 11:39 am

seder invitation If you’re “making a seder” this year (translation: creating a hugely elaborate meal, educational and entertainment experience for family members, frenemies and friends), I’m here to help you through it.

This year will be my third seder hosting gig. Last year, my seder was 40 people. I was also pregnant and had a 9-month-old, plus two other kids. I am not someone who has “got it together” on the domestic front like Martha Stewart. I have even, on occasion, been called “disorganized” and “slovenly.” So if I can do it, so can you. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 5 2013

Seder Plate Shopping Guide for Passover 2013

By at 9:33 am

Passover is coming, and you don’t know where to start? If you’re planning on hosting a seder this year and bubbe’s hand me down seder plate just isn’t cutting it, check out our favorite plates for this year. From classic to funky to three dimensional, there’s sure to be something for everyone.

1. Karma Seder Plate ($250) This beauty is elegant and not Passover-specific, which means you can use it for the rest of the year, too.karma seder plate

Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 25 2012

Why We Chose a Jewish Day School Over Public School

By at 9:47 am

I can still remember being 5 years old, sitting in the hallway outside my kindergarten classroom, while my buddy–an eighth grader–taught me the Ma Nishtana, the four questions for the Passover seder. Eight years later, and it was my turn to help a new kindergartner learn the tune and words to the same questions.

I’m a Schechter gal, through and through. From kindergarten through eighth grade, I attended Ezra Academy, a Solomon Schechter Jewish day school in the suburbs of New Haven, CT. Not only did I attend the school, but my mother was there long before I started, teaching a variety of grade levels before settling into her current position as the school’s computer instructor. The Jewish day school experience was an integral part of my childhood, and one that I truly look back upon fondly. Read the rest of this entry →

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