5 Ways to Make This Year’s Seder More Global

This Passover will be unlike any before, but you can make the most of it by introducing some new traditions to your already-unusual celebration.

April 3, 2020

This Passover will be unlike any before, as we face the prospect of Seders with absent loved ones, without familiar dishes, or in unexpected places. If you’ve already shifted your work or social life online, you might even be considering a virtual Seder.

But just because your Seder will be different doesn’t mean it has to be sad. You can make the most of it by introducing some new traditions to your already-unusual celebration. And just as you may be welcoming guests to your table from far-away places via Zoom or FaceTime, you can also welcome customs, recipes, and more from all over the Jewish world. It’s a powerful way to remember that, especially in this time of global pandemic, we should celebrate our interconnectedness — our lives are only enriched by the diversity of our global community. 

There’s no better way to introduce new traditions to your Seder than with JDC Entwine’s digital ReOrdered Global Passover Toolkit. Download your digital ReOrdered Toolkit here

If you’re looking for more ways to give this year’s festivities some new flair, here are 5 tips from one of the creators of the Toolkit, Rabbi Joshua Mikutis

  1. Try out some new tunes.
    Need some music to pump you up while you prepare for your Virtual Seder? Use the ReOrdered Global Passover playlist to bring some global jams to your home. Then, during the Seder itself, introduce your friends and family to these LadinoYiddish, and Arabic versions of Chad Gadya!

  2. If you’re not going to be able to open the door for Elijah, why not bring in another guest? 
    People all over the world are practicing social distancing this Passover, so you might consider inviting a friend who usually doesn’t attend — perhaps in a different country. Ask if they want to share some of their own Passover traditions or experiences.

    If they can’t make the Seder, ask them to send a video message to play during your Seder. Make sure to send back one of your own!

  3. Take a Jewish journey from the comfort of your couch.
    If you’re feeling stuck at home and wishing you could travel, share your screen and take your family on a tour of Synagogues from all over the world courtesy of Beit Hatfutsot in Tel Aviv.

  4. Change up the menu.
    There’s a good chance you’re missing your normal Seder chef, or maybe you’re the chef and you’re missing your usual table of guests. A Seder isn’t a Seder without a delicious meal, and this year is the perfect time to try something new. The ReOrdered Toolkit has dozens of great global recipes by Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant’s Table. If that’s not enough, check out our friends at the Gefilteria’s amazing cookbook. Don’t feel like cooking? Treat yourself to one of their amazing gefilte fishes at your local market. (Wash your hands when you get home!)

  5. Give your Seder a global backdrop.
    Some video chat software, like Zoom, allows you to use a custom background. You may be stuck at home, but you can feel like you’re anywhere. Show your guests where you wish you were. You can even choose a moment from history — imagine the Seder your great grandparents might have held. If you’re looking for inspiration, the JDC Archives has some wonderful galleries. 

We’re curious to hear how you’re making the most of this Passover, despite the challenges. If you use some of these tips — or want to share your own — tell us about it on social media with the hashtags #SederwithJDC and #ReOrdered.

From all of us at JDC, chag sameach. Next year… in person! 

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