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The Passover Story

Passover, one of the most widely celebrated of all Jewish holidays, commemorates the Israelites’ exodus from slavery in ancient Egypt. The rituals and customs of this holiday connect to freedom and renewal.

When the Israelites were finally freed after hundreds of years in slavery, they had to leave Egypt very quickly for fear that the ruling Pharaoh might change his mind. They left in such a rush that their bread had no time to rise, and instead became hard, flat crackers. It is a tradition on Passover to eat matzah, a flat cracker, instead of bread, to remember the exodus.

The Passover meal is called a Seder, which means “order” in Hebrew. During the Seder, families read from the Haggadah, a book that retells the story of Passover. The story is also remembered through foods on the Seder table, including maror (bitter herbs), representing the bitterness of life in slavery; charoset, a sweet brown paste often made of ground fruit and nuts, representing the mortar used by Jewish slaves to build structures in Egypt; and karpas, a non-bitter vegetable that is dipped in salt water to remember the tears of the ancient Israelites. You can read more about Passover at My Jewish Learning.

It's Passover, Grover!

Grover and AvigailPhoto © Sesame StreetIt is spring on Rechov Sumsum and Grover is excited to celebrate Passover at his first Seder, or Passover meal. As Shoshana, Avigail, Anneliese and Grover get ready for the Seder, Shoshana realizes she has no maror (bitter herbs) for the Seder plate, and stores have already closed! The gang visits their friends to try and find maror to begin the Seder.

It's Passover, Grover! showcases the Passover story, holiday preparations, and Hebrew words and phrases related to Passover. In the episode, viewers meet families whose holiday traditions originate in Ethiopia and Morocco, providing a glimpse into the diversity of the Jewish people.

A Passover Recipe

AvigailEasy Passover Coconut Cookies
Add a little sweetness to your child’s Passover celebration with this simple recipe for Passover Coconut Cookies.

 


Tips for Parents

Involving Kids in the Seder

SederThe Seder is not just a meal, it’s an event! People at the Seder are encouraged to do more than just read from the Haggadah; it is part of the tradition — and the fun — to ask questions and add your own commentary.

THAT IS THE QUESTION: The four questions read at the Seder are not meant to be the only questions of the night, but rather the warm-up questions. Everyone can ask questions, young and old; you can ask about the story, the customs of the Seder, and how the story is relevant today.

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL: Passover is called the Holiday of Freedom (Chag Cheruteinu) because we celebrate being free. One way we show this is by reclining at the meal and relaxing like free people as we eat. Ask your kids what being free means to them. Depending on your children's ages, you can also talk about current events and how you can help oppressed people around the world get closer to freedom.

SEDER HELPERS: Even young children can be Seder Helpers. For example, they might distribute matzah, bring the Seder leader a towel during hand-washing, or collect and redistribute the Haggadot during dinner. Everyone can have a role and feel proud of the part they play in making the meal a special time for family and friends.


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