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Guide to Passover for Interfaith Families

What is Passover/Pesach?

Passover is to many Jews the most important of all Jewish holidays. It has that status not only because it recounts the foundational story of Jewish history, the Exodus from Egypt, but also because many Jewish families come together on Passover for a full family celebratory meal. In some Jewish families this is a more important family time than Thanksgiving or Christmas. Passover celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' liberation from Egyptian slavery through a ritualized meal called a seder.

Some people celebrate Passover for eight days, while others celebrate it for seven.

According to the National Jewish Population Survey 2000-'01, more than two-thirds of American Jews host or attend Passover seders. What this observance means varies widely from family to family. Jewish families celebrate Passover in a variety of ways, from strictly following dietary rules for eight days, to holding a festive meal that includes most typical Passover foods, to simply gathering together as a family.

Table of Contents

The Seder: A Ritual Meal
Haggadah: The Passover Guide and Storybook
So you got invited to your boyfriend/girlfriend's house for seder... Does that mean you should expect a ring?
Your Turn to Host the Seder?
When is Passover, Anyway? A Guide to Jewish Time
Wait, the First Seder? There's More Than One?
Pre-Passover Preparation
Inviting Guests
Passover Cooking
Passover Foods: Foods That Tell the Seder Story
Passover Foods: Traditional Foods (or, What Is This?)
Passover Themes Meaningful to Interfaith Families
Engaging Children and Adults
Temple Seders: What to Expect
Church Seders: What to Expect
Additional Passover Resources

The Guide to Passover for Interfaith Families is also available in PDF and Word formats.

The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew for "Passover," the spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Hebrew for "order," refers to the traditional course of events, or service, surrounding the Passover and Tu Bishvat meals.

InterfaithFamily is the premier resource supporting interfaith couples exploring Jewish life and inclusive Jewish communities. We offer educational content; connections to welcoming organizations, professionals and programs; resources and trainings for organizations, clergy and other program providers; and our new InterfaithFamily/Your Community initiative providing coordinated comprehensive offerings in local communities.

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