By: Lauren Viner
My name is Lauren Viner and I am a CG alumna. I was last at Camp George as the Head Specialist in 2010 and I have been sitting on the alumni committee since then.
With Passover less than 2 weeks away, I thought it would be a good opportunity to reach out specifically to some of the Camp George staff members and alumni who may be away for the seders, or who may be thinking of hosting their own and share some tips on how to put a seder together.
Passover has always been my favourite holiday. What better way to spend the evening than with family and friends and delicious food. I also love the story of Passover and really enjoy re-telling it each year.
If you are planning on hosting a seder, my first tip is to give yourself plenty of time to prepare. It isn’t just putting on a simple dinner party. You want to make sure you have everything you need on your table.
On your seder plate you want to have the following items:
- Greens (parsley works well)
- An egg (tradition tells us to roast it but hard-boiled works just as well)
- Charoset (all you need is apples, some nuts like walnuts or pecans and some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Add a touch of sweet red wine/ grape juice for a little extra!)
- Marror (horseradish)
- Shank bone (a chicken bone works well!)
- Enough wine or grape juice to get through the 4 cups.
- 3 pieces of matzah so you can hide the afikoman. The 3 pieces all have significance.
- Elijah (and Miriam’s) cup. Elijah’s cup should be filled with wine or grape juice and Miriam’s cup with water.
There are also some newer traditions, of including an orange and an olive. If you are interested in how these traditions came about, please feel free to contact me.
Finally, make sure you have enough Hagaddah’s for everyone to share. This past year, I actually wrote my own Hagaddah. I was inspired to create it because after much searching, I couldn’t find any modern Hagaddah’s. I also really wanted to create something that would make the holiday especially meaningful for my family and friends.
It is mostly in English and there is transliteration for anyone who doesn’t speak or read Hebrew. If you are interested in using this Hagaddah, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you a digital copy to use.
If you are not able to make it home for your family seder, and you aren’t comfortable doing your own, there are lots of alumni and camp community members that are happy to host you for the evening. Please contact the camp office if you need some help in finding a place to go for the seder. To all of our alumni chapters out there, this is also a great chance for you to host a “camp style” seder of your own.
If you have any other questions about how to host a seder, please feel free to email me.