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. If you choose to add these, think hard about whether the messages are appropriate for the age of your guests. 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, … [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...]

Why Jewish Holidays in a Box? – Q&A

In the past few months, I’ve talked to people from California to Europe who asked us how we “do” Jewish Holidays in a Box. Here are some of the questions we hear most often: Q: When did you come up with the idea? A: I started noodling the idea when our girls (now all grown up and fabulous!) were young elementary school age. I wanted to make Jewish holidays more fun, but I didn’t have a lot of personal experience to draw on then, so I made it up as we went along.   Q: Why is your emphasis on simple crafts? A: I had to find ideas that were easy for me, because I’ve never been a super … [Read more...]