Focusing on Freedom: A Family Passover Countdown


Why is this Passover different from all other Passovers? For many of us, Passover this year is going to be a very different experience than in years past. This year, many of us are spending the weeks leading up to Passover struggling to balance the demands of working from home and caring for our children full-time. We’re also facing the reality that we may need to celebrate Passover without the relatives and friends that usually join us at our Seder tables. So how can a family stay positive during this strange time? How can parents help their kids look forward to Passover with joy and excitement, even though the holiday may look very different than it has in previous years? This Passover Countdown is designed to help families take time each day to focus on the deep meaning of Passover, and to prepare for the holiday with fun, engaging activities. For each day over the two weeks leading up to Passover, the Countdown offers a suggestion for an activity that parents and kids can do together, or a link that families can follow to find Passover resources. We hope that you will find these suggestions helpful, and that Passover’s central themes of freedom and family will help strengthen you until our communities are returned to health and fullness.

Wednesday, March 25 – First things first: can you eat all the food in your house before Passover? Read this article from Ritualwell about the Zero Waste Passover Challenge, an initiative that holds added meaning this year as many of us experience for the first time what it’s like to make do with limited groceries and to focus on using what we have.

Thursday, March 26 – Check out some PJ Library books about Passover to get inspired and learn about some of this holiday’s special traditions.

Friday, March 27 – There are many wonderful Haggadot that are available – but if you’re feeling creative, you could explore ways to create your own Haggadah at Working on this project together with relatives in other locations could be a great way to bridge the miles as Passover approaches.

Saturday, March 28 – It’s Shabbat! Take a breather and go outside.

Sunday, March 29 – Feeling crafty? Check out these ways to make your own Seder plate and give your Seder table a personalized touch.

Monday, March 30 – Spend some time exploring I Left with Moses, a kid-friendly, interactive website created by the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland. I Left with Moses offers creative ways to delve into the core themes of Passover and to prepare for the holiday’s ritual aspects.

Tuesday, March 31 – Practice the Four Questions (Mah Nishtanah) for the Seder, with help from this video from BimBam.

Wednesday, April 1 – Check out this Pre-Seder checklist from PJ Library, and have your kids help you prepare the recommended items for the Seder night.

Thursday, April 2 – Read Kippi and the Missing Matzah: A Sesame Street Passover by Louise Gikow. This charming book engages the Sesame Street characters in a search for the afikoman. Invite your family to discuss: Which Sesame Street character best represents each of the Four Sons?

Friday, April 3 – This year, we may not be packing for Passover travel, but we can still explore the meaning of the holiday by “packing” for our trip from slavery to freedom. Have each member of your family pack a suitcase or duffel bag with items that they would want to take if they were embarking upon a journey like the ancient Israelites. Gather together to show what you packed and to talk about what it might have felt like for our ancestors to leave on this momentous journey.

Saturday, April 4 – It’s Shabbat! Take a breather and go outside.

Sunday, April 5 – Interested in trying out some new recipes for the Seder – or learning how to make some traditional Passover dishes? See My Jewish Learning’s list of Passover recipes for inspiration and instructions.

Monday, April 6 – Are there relatives with whom you won’t be able to celebrate Pesach this year? Do you miss the opportunity to gather loved ones in your kitchen for pre-holiday cooking and preparation? Try a remote “cook-along” via FaceTime or Zoom, and make a family recipe together.

Tuesday, April 7 – It’s the last night before Passover! Involve your family in the tradition of Bedikat Chametz – the search for leavened foods all around your home. Learn how to do Bedikat Chametz with this engaging video.


Chag Sameach – Wishing you a joyful, meaningful Passover!

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