Thank you for taking on anti-Semitism. Two extra seats around the table make all the difference to help us educate and share our traditions across North America.
How do you conduct a Seder where you are pushing back against anti-Semitism? Your goal is to be open to sharing and welcoming someone who has never experienced a Seder. The 2 for Seder Kit, which you receive when you sign up, walks you through step-by-step.
Step One: Invite your Guests
The Kit has two parts, the first part is designed for your Guests. You should follow up with a good conversation about what happens at your seder, your family traditions, the food, and your particular brand of craziness. Walking briefly through the Haggadah together might be helpful.
Most of all, please encourage your Guests to ask questions before, during, and after the Seder.
Step Two: Plan your Seder and Prepare for Questions
The Kit is filled with background information, an abbreviated history of anti-Semitism and pro-Semitism, and suggestions for weaving in education and inclusiveness into this year’s Seder. This is good background reading; educate yourself and your guests for the most impactful Seder.
This is YOUR Seder. Your guests are there to enjoy and learn about your authentic traditions as well as the Haggadah story. Include what feels right and own it!
Step Three: Introduction to Launch your Seder
The Introduction to your Guests in the Kit sets the tone for the whole evening. You can directly read the introduction or put it into your own words. Take the time to do the introduction, it will help put your guests at ease.
Step Four: Weaving in Discussion Questions
The Questions at the Seder are put together by one of our Partner Rabbis, Rabbi Evan Ravski. He spent a month working on these questions! Look through and pick out any of the four questions that look meaningful to you. These are your launch pad to start a good conversation. They are designed for a group discussion and shouldn’t put your new guests on the spot.
For example, one question that is suggested for the first part of the Seder is: “How do we break free from the bonds of affliction, sorrow and oppression of misconception and ignorance?”
This wording is inclusive and thoughtfully written and you can interpret it in many ways. It’s designed to 1) pull in the language of the Seder and 2) apply to ANY minority or person who actively sympathizes with a minority. In America and Canada, almost all of us can relate to being a minority in some manner. For example, African-, Asian-, Irish-, and Italian- Americans were all banned from most of the same places that Jews were before the Civil Rights Act. We can all relate.
Step Five: Enjoy your Dinner and all your Guests
Modern North Americans are lucky to regularly experience different cultures through food when we go out for a meal. Your guests may find the Jewish culture most accessible through this special and delicious meal. Jewish cooks have innovated with the food restrictions that are set up with Passover for thousands of years. You and/or your partner are working hard to continue this tradition. It’s exciting to share it!
BTW, Joyce’s Popovers are a must. She just whipped these up and made it look easy. I’d love to hear if you try them out – how were they?