Seder Leader Suggestions
1) General Virtual Seder Tips
2) Seder Tips for Sages & Sages Adjacent
3) Seder Tips for Simple Folks & Ones Too Young to Ask
4) Prayer Books PDFs
General Virtual Seder Tips
*You can still have an ice breaker! Who’s connecting? Give folks a sense with whom they are celebrating.
*Let folks know if you’ll be monitoring the mute/unmute button or if they will need to be responsible for that themselves
*If you are including call and response, allow time for the response (there’s a time delay on zoom)
*1 computer per house (rather than multiple tablets/phones) will minimize microphone feedback.
*Decide in advance what you will do during Shulchan Orech (dinner). Will everyone stay on and eat together? Will you turn off your video/microphone and then let others know when you are done to conclude the seder, checking in on when everyone is ready? Will you set a time that you will come back together to finish the seder?
*How will people follow along? Will there be a haggadah emailed in advance? Will they be able to order a hardcopy?
*If there is difficulty in finding particular seder plate items this year, here are a few alternatives:
- Horseradish – – – – Fresh Ginger (It’s really bitter!), Lemon, Spicy Peppers
- Shank Bone – – – – Chicken Bone; Beet (it bleeds!)
- Parsley – – – – Boiled Potato; Celery; Artichokes
*Passing the mic is different online. In person, we have a lot of cues about taking turns speaking. Eye contact, leaning forward, raising your hand a few inches off your knee, etc. Online, we lack that body language, plus a fraction of a second delay in audio means we often end up talking over each other, or stuck in a polite “no, you go ahead” “no no, you go” (remember this Portlandia moment?). As a good online host, you can help avoid this by calling on people, posting an order for comments or check ins in the chat, and paying particularly close attention to faces and behavior. If someone unmutes and mutes, unmutes and mutes they probably have something to say but don’t want to interrupt or cut someone off. At the next pause, ask them if they have something to add.
*Ultimate Virtual Video Passover Seder 2021 — the complete seder (and songs!) in digestible bits — featuring Rabbi Neil Blumofe and Friends: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNqtr7W4LakIDft8Q6RAxiJa5Hz0RRgJC
*Want some help setting up your own Zoom seder? Check out this great Survival Guide from Jonathan Silverstein: 2021 Virtual Pesach Seder Survival Guide
Seder Tips for Seder with our Sages
*Ask guests to write a question in advance (about Passover or otherwise) and email the host in advance to print them all out. Ask them throughout the seder and discuss.
*Ask different guests to prepare a teaching for the various parts of the seder – one person can find a teaching related to the four children, one person can find a teaching about charoset, etc. This will share the preparation, keep people engaged, and present different perspectives.
*Encourage guests to share different charoset recipes and different vegetables that can be dipped (ideally a week in advance) so people can expand/be more flexible with their food offerings.
*Check out The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators Interactive Seder Experience. Some may seem simple, but the conversations that can come from them may surprise you
Seder Tips for Simple Folks & Ones Too Young to Ask
*Have your child(ren) create table decorations to beautify your seder table. Ask them to describe what they have done.
*Play Seder Bingo by printing out a free game-card here: https://www.denaackerman.com/2013/03/free-passover-picture-bingo/ and have the leader call out various items from time to time. Use stickers so you don’t need to worry about game pieces getting knocked off the card. (If using this in a virtual seder, coordinate with guests so that not everyone has the same few cards)
* Encourage guests to share different charoset recipes and different vegetables that can be dipped (ideally a week in advance) so people can expand/be more flexible with their food offerings.
*Check out The Pardes Center for Jewish Educators Interactive Seder Experience. Be sure to look for the age recommendations in the top right corner of each activity to tailor it to your seder.
*Ask all the youngest children at each table (if there are multiple families joining virtually) to recite the Four Questions together.
*Expand on the Passover theme of telling stories by sharing a family story with your child(ren). See Moving Traditions for ideas on how to choose a story.
*See our Chag in the Home Passover Guide for vocabulary, basic blessings, haggadah suggestions, story books, activity pages, songs and more (please note that this was from a previous year and that Passover starts on Saturday, March 27th this year).
*Here’s a lovely CAA-produced Passover Song Video for Tots and Friends, featuring Ms. Carol: https://vimeo.com/403319003
Passover Haggadah PDFs
Siddur Lev Shalem PDFs
Shabbat & Festival Morning (including additional prayers for Pesah)