If you have never been to a Passover seder and this
year you’ve been invited to one, don’t panic!
Here are some tips to make it a truly fun evening!
-Unless the host has said to dress casually, wear nice
clothes (no jeans)
-Expect it to be a long night. The seder will begin
somewhere around 6 and could be over at 11 or later.
Every family has their own traditions, but typically
there are a few minutes spent schmoozing with the other
guests. You’ll then sit down at the table.Let
your host seat you—there may be assigned seats
-Everyone will get a hagaddah (book containing the Passover
story). The Seder is led by one person (usually the
head of the home), but everyone is expected to participate
in the reading. All of the responsive reading is in
English but there will be various prayers in Hebrew.
Don’t worry about not knowing Hebrew. No one is
-If you’re curious as to when you’re going
to eat the meal, flip forward through your hagaddah
to find “The festive meal is now served.”
We usually count down to the meal by the number of pages
left until that text.
-Most important is to have fun. A seder is meant to
be a wonderful time with family and friends; to share
a story that is relevant to all people of all backgrounds.
If you really want to impress your hosts, let everyone
at the table know that you know these traditions:
Finding the Afikomen: Early in the
Seder, a special piece of matzo, the afikomen, is broken
in half and hidden away. Later, the children will search
for it and the one who finds it gets a prize.
The Four Questions: The Hagaddah includes
four questions traditionally asked by the youngest child
at the Seder. The questions are about the holiday and
encourage children to discuss and learn about their
religion and the history of their ancestors. Why not
practice these before the seder—you’ll look
like a real star!
What to Bring to the Seder
Most important is to ask your host what he or she needs.
Wine? Dessert? A Side Dish? If they assign you a dish,
make sure that it contains no flour or other ingredient
that is not Kosher for Passover. If your host keeps
a kosher kitchen all year round, be sure that whatever
you bring is kosher and pareve (contains no dairy; most
usually meat is served at a seder and it is not kosher
to serve meat and dairy together). Check our website
If your host says that you don’t need to bring
anything, then definitely bring something! Great choices
are wine (kosher for Passover), flowers, dessert or
gift basket from The Challah Connection!
Jane Moritz is the owner of
The Challah Connection,
a online store specializing in Jewish gifts and gift