Unique Passover Traditions

One of the major themes of the holiday of Passover is exodus or freedom. The centerpiece of the holiday is the seder. That’s the ritual feast held to retell the story of the Israelites’ salvation from slavery in Egypt. Although the seder is celebrated around the world, like so many Jewish practices, how it’s celebrated differs from community to community, and even from family to family. While some of the seder traditions seem weird (scraping brick dust into food and hitting each other with green onions!), they’re part of the incredible age-old traditions passed down by the Jewish people the world over. After watching the video, use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

  1. Which of the following facts is not true about the matza of Yemenite Jews?
    • It’s thicker
    • It’s softer
    • It’s more similar to the original matza
    • It contains chametz
  2. Why is most matza produced in a square shape?
    • It fits easily in a box
    • The original matza was square
    • To symbolize slavery
    • Matza is the Hebrew word for square
  3. What do many Persian Jews do to each other before singing the song Dayenu?
    • Watch Maccabeats videos
    • Whip each other with green onions
    • List things they’re grateful for
    • Eat hot peppers
  4. Why are many Hungarian Jewish seder tables so unique?
    • Their Haggadot are written entirely in Hungarian
    • They leave an open seat for Herzl, who was born in Budapest
    • They are decorated with silver and gold
    • Their matza is covered in goulash
  5. What do Jews from Gibraltar often sprinkle onto their charoset?
    • Rocks
    • Brick dust
    • Lemon juice
    • Salt
  6. Some Jews instituted a new custom to place oranges on their seder plates to represent what?
    • The fruits of our labor
    • The grapes of wrath
    • Inclusiveness
    • Exclusiveness
  1. What is your favorite family tradition surrounding Jewish holidays?
  2. What can we learn about the Jewish people through their diverse traditions?
  3. After watching this classic video from Fiddler On The Roof, discuss: What is the importance of tradition within Judaism? What role does it play in your life?
  4. What was the most surprising Passover tradition you learned about?
  1. Read the following article about different versions of the Haggadah with your students. Inspired by the article, ask your students to come up with a theme for a new Haggadah. They should develop a title, cover page and an explanation for what makes their Haggadah unique.
  2. Encourage your students to introduce some of these unique Passover traditions to their own family seders (if it isn’t one of theirs already!) Afterwards, share what the experience was like within the larger group.
  3. Give your students our Kahoot on the Unique Passover Traditions!

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