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Planning for Passover as an Interfaith Couple

March 15, 2013

Are you in an interfaith relationship or part of an interfaith couple? Have you started preparing for Passover? Keep reading for five interesting approaches to consider as you get started with the upcoming holiday.

A plethora of information is available on the web for everyone to see, read, download, and incorporate. You don't even have to go to a store to buy a coloring book for the children; there is one right there to download and print. From secular to religious and everything in between, as we used to say about the Yellow Pages, "let your [mouse] do the walking." Given this significant advance with technology, what could I have to offer that you couldn't find yourself? Actually, I wanted to have some fun with my suggestions, to nudge you along the way of thinking about your involvement with Passover from a different perspective; one that puts you in the active position, making intentional decisions that suit your needs.

So here are my 5 suggestions for new and creative things you can try this Passover:

  1. As a couple or as a family, go to an old-fashioned bookstore or used books store and look at all the Haggadahs. Buy one! Chose the one that you think is the most accessible. Have a cup of coffee at the cafe and enjoy getting to know your new purchase together.
  2. Go home for seder. Your parents will be tickled pink! Tell your parents to make their best family recipes and to plan an outrageously fun seder.
  3. If you can't go home, make a seder with your friends. I know it sounds like a forbidding task but I promise that I will tell you how to do this with ease and grace. Start by checking out InterfaithFamily's booklet, Setting the Passover Table, and their recipes. Still unsure? Email me for a copy of my very own recipe book — it'll get you through the seder.
  4. Make a batch of Passover chocolate bark. Smitten Kitchen's version, called “chocolate caramel crack(ers)" is an annual favorite, getting wild praise from fans online. It is a great way to turn matzo into a delicious dessert. It is easy to make and everyone will think you are the most incredible cook and host! If you make this, you can buy all the rest of the food for the meal pre-made. I promise, no one will notice.
  5. Make up a play! Last year, I had all my grandchildren participate in a short and sweet play about Moses in the Nile, ending with the ten plagues. Here's your opportunity to be creative. Think about wearing costumes. Use marshmallows to make hail. Start the seder by hiding Moses in the bulrushes. Feel encouraged to tell the Passover story in a new way.

  6. I'd love to hear your ideas — please share them in the comments below!

Plural form of the Hebrew for "telling," it's the text that outlines the order of the Passover seder. There are many, many versions of this book, which dates back almost 2,000 years. Because we are commanded to expand upon the story, the Haggadah contains ancient interpretations, as well as stage directions and explanations, for the Passover meal. The spring holiday commemorating the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The Hebrew name is "Pesach." Hebrew word for an unleavened bread, traditionally eaten during the holiday of Passover.
Marion L. Usher

Marion L. Usher, Ph.D. is a clinical professor of psychiatry at George Washington University's School of Medicine and Behavioral Science in the District. Marion created Love and Religion: An Interfraith Workshop for Jews and Their Partners. For the past 19 years, she conducted the workshop for the DCJCC and was the facilitator for the pilot of InterfaithFamily's Love and Religion - Online workshop in October 2010.

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