Cover image for Make your own Passover seder : a new approach to creating a personal family celebration
Make your own Passover seder : a new approach to creating a personal family celebration
Kay, Alan A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Jossey-Bass, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxix, 224 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
General Note:
"An Arthur Kurzweil book"
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BM695.P35 K45 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BM695.P35 K45 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Make Your Own Passover Seder gives you the information needed to create a customized seder that expresses your and your family's particular spiritual, political, and personal values and sentiments. No matter what your religious persuasion¾Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Renewal, or not Jewish at all¾this guide provides a wise and learned approach that is filled with warmth and creativity. Make Your Own Passover Seder offers new ideas and myriad options based on the authors' own experience and hundreds of other examples of seders throughout the world. 

Author Notes

Alan Abraham Kay is rabbi of the Temple Beth Emeth in Mount Sinai, New York
Jo Kay is director of the New York School of Education at Hebrew Union College -- Jewish Institute of Religion. She is a consultant at the Whizin Institute for Jewish Family Life, University of Judaism, Los Angeles

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In their comprehensive and accessible guide to making a Passover seder, Rabbi Kay and his wife, Jo, provide all the information a host or hostess needs to prepare a meaningful and engaging religious celebration. The Kays begin by emphasizing the universal relevance of Passover's purpose-to celebrate the escape from oppression. "The Passover seder," they write, "can be the most stirring and profound means of identifying and committing yourself to defeating that which menaces our personal and national freedom." But the authors' interests are wide-ranging: they also consider ways in which the seder can be a celebration of the senses, of friends and family, of memory and of springtime. Indeed, the rich variety of the recipes, songs and activities that the Kays describe offer ample resource for readers looking to design a personalized Passover ceremony. The book is peppered with anecdotes and creative tips that suggest ways to tailor the seder to an individual family's needs and to promote guests' participation. Parents will especially appreciate the authors' suggestion to play a memory game called "I am leaving Egypt and I am taking..." that should hold children's attention as well as teach them about the important history behind the celebration. The many Haggadah recommendations, which give suggestions for everyone from parents of young children to vegetarians to feminists to interracial families, reflect the Kays' sensitivity and openness. Rounded out with lists of necessary groceries and ritual objects, as well as detailed instructions through "The Seder in Fifteen Steps," the book makes an ideal gift for young families trying to establish a Passover tradition that will be a pleasure to revisit year after year. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal Review

"Why another book on making a Passover seder?" ask Rabbi Alan Kay and wife Jo Kay in the introduction to their how-to guide and sourcebook, noting that more than 3500 Haggadahs are currently in print worldwide. They aim to provide suggestions for making a seder "with significance for your family legacy and the world around you," offering a practical, step-by-step guide to Passover preparation (selecting a Haggadah, planning the menu, shopping, readying the house, and setting the seder table) and to the seder itself. Inset boxes add helpful tips, explanations of traditions, and relevant contemporary stories. Even recipes are included. Arnow, a clinical psychologist and former president of the New Israel Fund, focuses more on the historical and religious background of each passage from the Haggadah and on helping seder leaders and participants find personal, contemporary meaning in the traditional words. He discusses the "long road from slavery to freedom," the four questions, the four children, reconnecting Passover and nature, the Exodus as a personal spiritual journey, women of the Exodus, the ten plagues, Israel and the Haggadah, and the miracles of Egypt and our day. Also included are chapters on Hillel, Elijah, and biblical archaeology, as well as a wealth of suggested group readings and artistic activities to help make the Passover seder livelier and more meaningful. Why another book on making a Passover seder? Why not? How many books of Christmas crafts, cooking, decorating, and traditions does your library have? People are always looking for fresh, new ways to celebrate established holidays, and these two new sourcebooks are highly recommended for any public library.-Marcia Welsh, Dartmouth Coll., Hanover, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: In Every Generationp. xi
Part 1 The Preparationp. 1
1 Tuning Upp. 3
2 Selecting a Haggadahp. 11
3 Planning the Menup. 33
4 Shopping for Passoverp. 49
5 Readying the House and Searching for Leavenp. 57
6 Setting the Seder Tablep. 69
Part 2 The Seder Itselfp. 85
7 Warming Upp. 87
8 The Seder in Fifteen Stepsp. 103
Conclusion: The Journey Continuesp. 173
Glossaryp. 187
Resourcesp. 199
Selected Annotated Haggadahsp. 199
Selected Annotated Haggadahs for Children and Familiesp. 211
Selected Books, Essays, and Web Sites on Passoverp. 215
The Authorsp. 219