Passover

Passover

happy passover

is a Jewish Spring Holiday, known as “The Feast of Unleavened Bread.”  It is  celebrated by Jewish people for 7 or 8 days. This year it begins in the evening of Friday, April 15th  and ends in the evening of Saturday, April 23rd. The significance of Passover is to celebrate freedom from slavery.  Family members get to recline on pillows at their seat as a symbol of freedom.  


A Seder is the ritual feast held at the beginning of Passover on the first and second nights. Seder means Order in Hebrew, and is meant to educate the family about the story of how Moses led the Jewish people out of Egypt.  The telling of the story of Passover and its rituals have been passed down through the generations.  It is interactive with songs, storytelling and pictures in the Haggadah, the book used for the seder.


Each family member plays a role.  The youngest child has an important part that they prepare in advance.  They ask “The Four Questions” in Hebrew then the answers are sung and read.   This is a big honor for the child.  Children get to play a game called, “Find the Afikomen” (meaning dessert) They get to search the house like “hide and go seek.”  It is a piece of matzah hidden by the parents and eaten by all at the end of the seder when found. 


A Few Fun Facts

  1. The very first Passover was celebrated in Egypt itself more than 3,300 years ago and marked the first holiday the Jews ever celebrated.
  2. The world’s largest Passover seder, with more than 1,000 participants is held yearly in Kathmandu, Nepal. Although very few Jewish people live in Nepal, it is a popular vacation destination for Isreali travelers during Passover.
  3. President Barack Obama held the first Passover at the White House in 2009.
  4. In recent years, a new tradition has begun.  Seder plates can now have seven spots instead of six. The new seventh food is an orange. The orange is said to signify fruitfulness, and the action of spitting out the seeds represents “spitting out” hate and discrimination in our communities. 
  5. Matzah is unleavened bread that is eaten to remember that the Jewish people did not have time for the bread to rise as they were in a hurry to leave Egypt.  Observant Jews will not eat bread or anything made with grain for the duration of Passover.
  6. Pets who are members of more observant Jewish families also eat a special diet during Passover. Several companies sell Passover-friendly dog/cat food that contains no chametz (those disallowed grains).  Some companies now share healthy, Passover-approved lists for observant pet-owners.

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Books

Here are a few fiction books that are available in some of the libraries across the district:

  • 'Is It Passover Yet?' by Chris Barash
  • 'Stone Soup with Matzah Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm' by Linda Glaser
  • 'The Matzah Man: A Passover Story' by Naomi Howland
  • 'The Little Red Hen and the Passover Matzah' by Leslie Kimmelman>
  • 'A Sweet Passover' by Lesléa Newman
  • 'Matzo Ball Moon' by Lesléa Newman
  • 'Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale With a Tail' by Lesléa Newman
  • 'Matzah Ball: A Passover Story' by Minday Avra Portnoy
  • 'The Matzo Ball Boy' by Lisa Shulman