…and then he Swatted me with Scallions

by Sara Beth Berman, Program Director at Camp Coleman

This post was written as part of an article in EdJewTopia about different ways to make the Passover seder meaningful- and fun!

…and then he Swatted me with Scallions

It sounds like a punch line to some ridiculous joke, but fear not. The Mizrachi tradition of batting your Seder compatriots with leeks, scallions, and assorted greenery engages the Seder-goer of most ages (although my Bubbie probably wouldn’t approve).

Stuffed animals! Ping pong balls as hail! A terrifying rain of plastic frogs and an onslaught of cheesy song covers about wicked sons and liberation!

As a child, I didn’t enjoy sedarim. With my family’s tedious tradition of reading every word in the Haggadah, I thought I’d fall asleep before the anticlimactic dessert of dust-bunny covered “edible” cardboard. My dad’s tireless reading of maggid and nirtza – all Hebrew – didn’t catch my fancy. So it was with raised eyebrows that I happened upon my first experiential sedarim in college. I was amazed at the discussions: finally, a group that agreed with me about importance of my opinion!

Those first experiences were followed by other sedarim with props, dance moves and questions. Every year, every night, the activities were different. I was jazzed to learn in grad school that my experiences were purposeful. “Did you know the Seder is a ritual meant to educate children?” It wasn’t for Hebrew reading practice and dinner at 11pm?! Sweet!

With the first scallion whack, you can smack your Seder guests into rapt attention, and with resources like haggadot.com, you can build a Haggadah rife with interpretations, questions, and stories. If you’re a fan of 21 Jump Street, David Wolkin wrote a Seder piece just for you! You can create a Seder that is as traditional as you want, and as out-of-the-box as your kids need.

A huge Gleek could write their own mash up parody of dayeinu or the Seder order. A Pitch Perfect fan could design a cup-song to welcome Elijah! An entire grade can challenge themselves by playing a Pesach game based on Taboo – an activity done in my school this week.

The Seder is an educational symposium, meant to transmit Jewish history and tradition from parents to children. The order is there. It’s up to you to fill it in with experiences, games, songs, props, costumes, and questions.

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