New Symbols For Your Seder Plate

In addition to the traditional symbols of Passover – haroset, maror, parsley, and shank bone – there is a host of new symbols representing a variety of causes and philosophies. Miriam’s Cup Years ago, we added a Miriam’s Cup to our Seder table to honor the role of Miriam, Moses’ older sister (and, symbolically, the contributions of other Jewish women to our culture). Miriam not only watched over Moses in the bulrushes, she told the Egyptian princess who found him that Yocheved, Moses’ mother, should be his nursemaid. Passover 2017 – Sunset, Monday, April 10 through nightfall, Tuesday, … [Read more...]

Cleaning the House for Passover

Many people start eating down their stashes of chametz (leavened things you don't eat during Passover) a few months in advance. Extra bagels in the fridge? Here, kids, eat these! Cereals, cookies, crackers, pasta . . .  It's easier to focus on finishing and not buying new when we get into February. But people take very different approaches to how they clean their houses for Passover. Passover 2017 – Sunset, Monday, April 10 through nightfall, Tuesday, April 18 You can go whole hog (if you’ll excuse the expression) and clean the entire house, getting rid of every crumb, in every room. … [Read more...]

Help! I’ve Never Put on a Passover Seder!

When you think of pulling together a Seder, does the idea of all the work involved stop you in your tracks? If so, get our free downloadable 36-page e-guide called “Celebrate Passover, How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder.” And learn how you can breeze through preparations for, well, a fun, simple Seder. Passover 2017 – Sunset, Monday, April 10 through nightfall, Tuesday, April 18 The guide will lead you through planning and preparation, so that you can create wonderful memories for your children – without spending weeks and months preparing. Here’s what one Mom told us: Ellen Zimmerman’s … [Read more...]

Passover 101 – The Basics

Before any major holiday, I like to read through a refresher on the basics. And each year, I enjoy finding new twists to how we’ll celebrate Seder with our young grandchildren. This year, I found inspiration in the Torah portion “Shmot.” Now that our older grandson reads so beautifully, I’ll be adding to his part in the Exodus skit that we do. So back to basics: What do “Seder,” “Passover” and “Haggadah” mean? “Seder” means order. And even though there is a huge amount of variability in how a Seder is conducted, the main elements follow a prescribed order, detailed in the Haggadah, … [Read more...]

The “Fruity & Nutty” Jewish Holiday – Tu BiSh’vat

Celetrate Tu BiSh'evat

Ah, the almond tree in Israel. In bloom again. Time for Tu BiSh’vat, the New Year of the Trees. (Sorry - this isn't an almond blossom, but you get the idea.) To get you in the spirit, read these lines from Rabbi Vicki Hollander’s lyrical “Ode to the Moon of Sh’vat.” (It’s definitely worth clicking on the link to read the rest of it.) And as the full moon rises, on the 15th day of Sh’vat, so comes her holy day, Tu BiSh’vat, the new year of the trees. When according to legend, that very night, the moon pulls and sap stirs within the trees, rising upwards. Full of Possibility Tu … [Read more...]