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Apr 07 2020 - 04:36 PM
Different from All Other Nights: Passover 2020

The quintessential Seder question - why is this night different from all other nights? - is always easy for me to answer. This night is different because it's finally time for my favorite holiday! Sharing food, songs, traditions, and quality time with family and friends (after a deep spring cleaning session) is something that I look forward to on any given day, but Passover gives us an excellent excuse to sit down together. This year, though, we're celebrating while sheltered in place. What better time to learn about new ways to celebrate and expand my learning on traditions I haven't experienced?

There are many wonderful resources for bringing Passover celebrations online. Those who find themselves running their own Seders for the first time, like myself, might feel lost. But services like Jew Belong exist expressly to help Jewish people and those looking to learn more about Judaism fit in when we feel isolated, and we can even compile our own personalized Haggadah online using There are so many free resources available online, and members of the TC community have access to even more resources from the TC and CU catalogs to be used at home. The following list focuses on Passover. I've included some Easter activity ebooks, too, as the two holidays fall concurrently and many faiths are impacted by the need to adapt the ways in which we observe.

Image: A Seder Table Setting from Wikimedia Commons

Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained adapted by Barry Louis Polisar with illustrations by Sierra Hannah Polisar

Esteemed children's musician Barry Louis Polisar and his daughter put together a simple, family friendly Haggadah primarily in English. Songs and blessings are in Hebrew with transliterations.

Passover: Festival of Freedom by Monique Polak

This primer on Passover explains the holiday's customs and gives anecdotes from celebrations around the world. There are also personal stories told by a Holocaust survivor, giving more context to the idea of remembering hardships and freedom alike in Jewish culture.

Haggadah of the Kaifeng Jews of China by Fook-Kong Wong and Dalia Yasharpour

This academic take on the Passover customs of the Kaifeng Jewish community also includes a full Haggadah, preceded by cultural and linguistic analysis.

My Seder Menu by Alison Roman, published in the New York Times

This article, published on April 1, 2020, provides both recipes for a seder and the emotional journey of preparing for Passover in a time of quarantine.

Had Gadya: The Only Kid: A Facsimile of El Lissitzky's Edition of 1919, edited by Arnold J. Band and introduction by Nancy Perloff

This disambiguation of the classic Passover song is presented in English with keys for Yiddish vocabulary, transliterated Aramaic (in accordance with Sephardic pronunciation), and in illuminated Aramaic. It is available in CU's catalog through public domain scans to Google Books.

A search for "Haggadah" under E-Books in CLIO yields a bounty of results, including books published in languages other than English and originally published as far back as the 1300s.

Easter resources:

Feasting on the Word: A Thematic Resource for Preaching and Worship by David L. Bartlett, Barbara Brown Taylor, Kimberly Bracken Long, and Barbara Brown Taylor

This text is described as an "all-in-one pastor's companion for Lent and Holy Week." With chapters covering all of the Sunday services throughout Lent, leading up to midweek services and Easter Sunday, it may prove itself a worthwhile read for those who may not be able to access their houses of worship at this time.

Easter Crafts by Annalees Lim and Easter Sweets and Treats by Ruth Owen are full of fun projects for this special springtime Sunday.

Posted in: Learning at the Library|By: Rachel Altvater|1169 Reads