Tips for Downloading & Printing

Posted by Haggadot

Do A Test Download
Even if you're still working on your Haggadah, it's always a good idea to do a test download before the big day. If you're at work, note that your office might have firewall security that blocks the download. If that's the case, try downloading from your smartphone or at home. 

Try Downloading A Word Doc
If you're concerned about formatting & font size, try our new feature for downloading your Haggadah as a Word Doc. You'll be able to edit it in Microsoft Word & Google Docs. You can see more information here

Go Paperless (if you can)
We know that screens at seders aren't technically kosher, but if it doesn't conflict with your observance, going digital will save you money and some trees. Invite your users to view the Haggadah on their tablets or smartphones, or even use a projector to display a large version on your wall. 

Get Creative
We've heard that some users prefer the layout of the interactive version so much, that they've taken screenshots of that version and printed them. Other have reported downloading the clips as individual PDFs and distributing different pages to participants at the Seder, with everyone leading a section or two. You can also print a booklet format with your Word Doc download. Here's a great tutorial for booklet settings

Contact Us Before 4pm PST On Friday
Still running into trouble? Let us know. But keep in mind that we're celebrating the holiday too and our office will be closed on Friday starting at 4pm. 

Consider A Donation
Running this website is expensive and we're on a super tight budget! We want to keep improving our user experience, but we can't do it without support from donors like you
 
 
Test Our New Word Doc Download

Posted by Haggadot

Exciting update! We're testing out a new feature that will let you download your Haggadah as a Word Doc for further formatting of fonts & layout.

Want to try it? Here's what you need to know:

This feature is being developed on what we call a "staging site". It's essentially a secret copy of the "live" Haggadot.com where we update the code and add new features before making them available to the larger public. This particular feature is not yet perfect, but we still think it's valuable enough to let you try, even with the flaws.

As you test it, keep in mind these two issues:

1) You might need to add the Microsoft Hebrew language pack to your system, otherwise the Hebrew could appear either backward or as gibberish. If you don't have the Hebrew language installed, you can also try opening your file in Google Docs and the Hebrew should look just fine. 

2) The content on the two sites is not automatically synced. We copy new clips & haggadahs from the "live" site to the "staging" site late each night (around 1am). We do not copy content from the staging site back to the live site, as staging is only for testing.

So, if you're still uploading new clips, please continue to do so on live Haggadot.com. When you're ready to download, follow the link below, sign-in and select your haggadah to download as you normally would. This time, you'll see the additional option to download a Word Doc. You can then open it in Word or Google Docs.

If you've added content to the site, and you do not yet see it on the staging site, try again in the morning, after our systems have done their nightly content sync.

Now that I've briefed you, here's the link:

http://hgfinal.srtpl.com/

Enjoy! And let us know if you have any questions! 

Selfies At Your Seder

Posted by Haggadot

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SIJCC's Human Tableau

Lately it seems as though smart phones are taking over our lives, shortening our attention spans or even making us more self-absorbed - but is it possible that the practice of selfies can move beyond narcissism to be instructive, even connective? We think so.

Recently, Haggadot.com learned of The Selfie Seder, shared by a group of Jewish educators on Facebook, which encourages participants to capture selfies of each aspect of the seder as a scavenger hunt / performative educational tool. We love that it merges the seemingly ubiquitous practice of taking selfies with instructive learning. After all, the Haggadah states that "In every generation, each person must regard himself or herself as if he or she had come out of Egypt" and the Selfie Seder is taking that to a new level of creativity.  

Check out The Selfie Seder here: https://goo.gl/4mZU7a

Whether or not you do it at your actual seder, or stage this activity beforehand is up to you. 

And if you're interested in bringing a performative activity to your seder (with or without selfies), you can also check out SIJCC's Human Tableau, a Passover Play, or other impromptu performance activities

Whatever you choose, let us know how it goes!

Our Ever-Growing List of Seder Plate Additions

Posted by Haggadot

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#SecondSederPlate by Jewish World Watch

Most of us know about the orange, Miriam's Cup, and even a beet in place of a shankbone for vegetarian-friendly seders. But have you heard about the pine cone, the coconut or the banana? Here's our growing list of every seder plate addition that we've seen on the site. 

A Second Seder Plate 
Why have just one? This year, Jewish World Watch asks us to consider the plight of over 65 million displaced persons around the world with their #SecondSederPlate activity guide.

A Chili Pepper
This fantastic Jewish Mexican Haggadah encourages us to add the pepper to "honor the abuelas, the bisabuelas, the chignonas, the curandras, and the other femme Moshes, Miriams, Tziporahs and Aarons in our lives who taught us who we are..."  

A Pine Cone
Temple Israel of Boston invites us to remember the mass incarceration crisis in America. 

An Artichoke
Interfaith Family notes, "Jewish people have been thorny about this question of interfaith marriage" and has chosen an artichoke to spark conversation towards inclusiveness at our seder tables.

An Oyster
Kosher? No! But it is a great conversation starter about our reliance on oil and the effects of drilling.

An Olive
Olive branches are traditionally known as a symbol of peace, so this author reminds us "we are not free until there is peace in our homes, our community and in our world"

Coconut & Fruit Salad
JQ International has a full LGBTQ Haggadah with a seder plate that includes a coconut for those "still in the closet and their struggle in coming out" and fruit salad for "our collective potential and recognition"

Pineapple
This author asks us to be mindful of depression and anxiety that reside within us, adding "May the source of all deliver all who suffer from their own personal Mitzrayim (narrow places)"

Bitter Chocolate
Some host Chocolate seders to entertain the kids, while others eat fair-trade chocolate to honor workers' struggles. In their "Revenge of Dinah" haggadah, a group of activist teens have created a Bitter Chocolate Ritual for us to consider the pervasiveness of rape culture in our Jewish communities

Ruth's Cup
Many consider Ruth to be the original convert and model for the diversity in Jewish life. To honor her and represent an inclusive vision of Judaism, some have added a new cup to the table rituals. 

A Banana
Religious Action Center also asks us to consider the refugee crisis, this time with a banana, considered a luxury in war-torn Syria. 

A Tomato
Those who stand in solidarity with workers' rights issues ask us to add the tomato to consider the struggles of farm workers. 

Ready to get creative at your seder? Try our Alternative Seder Plate Activity to draw your own symbols on the plate. And for something completely different, try The Science Seder Plate. It's a great coloring activity with science facts about the traditional seder symbols. We LOVE it!

Do you have a new symbol on the seder plate that you'd like to share? Let us know! Post it to the site, or email us at info@haggadot.com

Beyond Miriam's Cup: Host a 7th (or 8th) Night Seder That Celebrates Women

Posted by Sarah Chandler

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Image: Esther Broner hosting the Women's Seder in NYC (source: "Esther Broner - A Weave of Women", https://vimeo.com/68913536)

For those of you who have been paying attention, you already know that there are several female heroes in the Passover story - from the midwives who refused to kill the male firstborns to Moses’s sister, Miriam, to Pharaoh’s daughter, who raised Moses as her son. With so many women playing key roles in the Exodus, it’s ironic that some of us grew up on homes where women did not have a public role in our family seders. As a remedy, many communities host feminist model seders to honor the legacy of Jewish women who have led us to freedom, both in the Passover story and in modern times.

As an addition to the traditional seder, a women’s seder can happen on any night, yet the 7th day of Passover has a particular connection with women and miracles. According to legend, while we hold the first seder on the night that the Israelites fled Egypt, it is on the 7th day that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea. Since Miriam and her band of women musicians are associated with the crossing of the sea, a custom has developed to gather on the last nights of Passover to honor and celebrate women. As a bonus, it can be a great opportunity to get rid of some of the last matzah or even the leftover kugel.

Tips for Your Women’s Seder

The liturgy from these seders, such as The Women’s Haggadah by Esther Broner, Ma’yan’s The Journey Continues (which uses feminine God language), or The Chicago Woodman Haggadah (that’s Judy Chicago, available on Haggadot.com!), have lead to increased visibility for honoring often overlooked heroic women from the Bible until today.

If you’ve created your own women’s seder, we hope you’ll share samples that you’ve created here on the site.

  • Formal or informal: You Choose

    If it is not the first or second seder, your gathering does not have to be a complete seder. It can be abbreviated, focusing only on a handful of sections of the formal seder - or it could even just be a meal that includes a text study, sharing circle, art project, or other form of celebration and ritual.

  • Guests: Females only or all-gender?

    You could choose to have a seder that is composed of exclusively female-identified guests, or host a gathering for all genders that still raises up the roles of women in the exodus and beyond.

  • Expanded Maggid For Heroines

    You might try an abbreviated seder with expanded “maggid” to highlight key female characters in the exodus story. This would include dramatic retelling of key moments of heroic women. Take turns playing each character. Imagine a conversation between the midwives, Shifra and Puah, as they planned their non-violent resistance. What was Miriam thinking at each step of the journey? What risks was Pharaoh's daughter taking to adopt this child? Another version of this would be to invite each guest to choose one character from the exodus story and one modern day female or genderqueer individual. Share with the group and compare for each: What was challenging for this individual to take on these heroic actions? What was standing in their way? What’s did they give up in order to be a hero? What did they gain? Who has been most impacted by their heroism?

  • Gender Justice Focus

    Or choose a modern day gender justice issue to explore at the seder. Discuss: What about those impacted by this issue seems like endless slavery? What is one step we could take toward ending gender oppression? You may wish to bring a guest speaker who can speak on behalf of an advocacy organization or who has received support from a non-profit addressing this issue.


Ready to get started? Here are some resources you might use to plan your women’s seder:


Online resources:

Haggadot.com’s Women’s seder resources

The Chicago Woodman Haggadah

Why Women’s Seders from RitualWell.org

Esther Broner - A Weave of Women (trailer)

 

Haggadot to purchase:

The Women’s Haggadah by Esther Broner

The Women's Seder Sourcebook from Jewish Lights

Ma’yaan's The Journey Continues (which uses feminine God language)

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About the author:

Passover in Pop Culture

Posted by Haggadot

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"A Rugrats Passover", Nickelodeon

It's true that Pesach doesn't have the pop cultural cachet of, say, Hanukkah. But as one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar, there is an impressive range of pop cultural depictions of Passover. Read on to learn about four of the best-loved depictions of Passover and the Exodus story.

The Ten Commandments

No list of Passover entertainments would be complete without this momentous film. To modern eyes, Cecil B. DeMille's retelling of Exodus may seem a little hokey. But the film boasts an all-star list of excellent actors, and the sets and on-location filming (in Egypt and Mt. Sinai) are genuinely impressive. What's more, its special effects (especially the parting of the Red Sea) earned it an Academy Award -- as well as a reputation as the most expensive film ever made at the time.

'A Rugrats Passover'

Rugrats isn't just the favorite TV series of many a '90s kid: it also portrayed the Jewish faith of the character Didi (and her son Tommy) with sensitivity and grace. In this episode, the show's babies find themselves trapped in an attic with Didi's father, Boris. To while away the time, Boris tells the babies the Passover story -- and the babies imagine themselves as part of the story. The episode won considerable critical acclaim, as well as the highest ratings in Nickelodeon's history.

The Prince of Egypt

This 1998 animated musical is another '90s favorite, and it retells the Exodus story with fun and flair. DreamWorks' stunning animation drew both critical and audience acclaim, and the film's cast consists of A-list talent like Val Kilmer, Michelle Pfeiffer and Ralph Fiennes. A pop soundtrack by composer Stephen Schwartz keeps things moving and grooving. Keep an ear out for Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston's "When You Believe," which charted in the U.S. and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Shalom Sesame: It's Passover, Grover!

Sesame Street loves to teach kids about traditions from a variety of cultures, and the Shalom Sesame series focuses on sharing Jewish traditions with children who may not otherwise encounter them. In this special, Grover and his friends dash across Sesame Street, looking for horseradish to round out their Seder plates. Meanwhile, fun interstitials teach kids about the Hebrew alphabet and calendar, and various Passover traditions, including Mimunah. It's upbeat, educational and respectful, and a great addition to the Passover traditions of any family with little kids.

Printable Seder Checklist & Social Justice Clips

Posted by Haggadot

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Not sure how to start your haggadah? We've created a printable checklist of the seder, along with a list of our favorite social justice content. Open the file & click the links, or follow our list below. 

https://goo.gl/MCrB0d

 

 

The Seder Plate's Persian Cousin

Posted by Haggadot

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Image from Bottomofthepot.com

It turns out that Jews aren’t the only ones with a plate full of ritual items in the springtime. Persian new year, Nowruz, comes in the springtime (this year it falls on Sunday March 20th). And as part of the preparations for Nowruz, Persian families--Jewish, Muslim, and Christian--prepare haft-seen.

Haft means seven, and seen is a letter in the Persian alphabet that makes the s sound. Haft-seen is a plate or table that has seven things that start with the letter seen. Each item has a symbolic significance, and many are generally related to spring and rebirth.

 

Haft-seen contains

- seer | garlic | medicine

- samanu | wheat-based pudding | affluence (or fertility, depending on who you ask)

- seeb | apple | health and beauty

- serkeh | vinegar | old age and patience

- sabzeh | sprouts or greens (usually sprouted lentils or wheat sprouts) | rebirth

- senjed | wild olive | love

- somagh | dried sumac berries | sunrise
 

And that’s not all. Many haft-seen tables include a slew of other objects that are related to the season. You might find:

- sekkeh | coins | prosperity

- sonbol | hyacinth | spring

- goldfish | life

- colored eggs | birth, new life, etc.

- candles | light

- a mirror | also light

- a sacred book

Haft-seen is not a religious holiday, so it is celebrated by nearly all Persians, including Jewish Persians, who will be setting up their seder tables in just a few weeks. And these Persian Jewish families are getting a head start on cleaning for Passover, because besides haft-seen, another way families prepare for Nowruz is by khooneh takooni. This translates literally to "shaking the house" and is basically a thorough spring cleaning.

Want to see some beautiful pictures of haft-seen tables? Check out our pinterest board with some gorgeous examples, and take some inspiration for your own seder table.

Looking to update your seder plate? Over time, the most basic components of the seder plate have been joined by some new friends. There’s an orange, symbolizing the struggle by Jews who used to be ignored by our tradition—like gays and lesbians, and women, and Jews by choice. A tomato, to represent modern day slavery. An olive for peace in Israel and Palestine. A roasted beet “bleeds” to provide a vegan alternative to a shank bone. Find more on all aspects of the seder plate over in the clip library.

Wishing you a happy Nowruz!

Exciting News!

Posted by Haggadot

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Very exciting news over here at Haggadot.com…for this Passover season, we’ve got a new partnership and new specialty Haggadot.  Here are some highlights – for the full press release, click here.

Our specially created and curated Haggadot include:

  • - “Greatest Hits” Haggadah (curated by Haggadot.com team)
  • - The Jewish Women’s Archive Haggadah (created by Jewish Women’s Archive)
  • - The JQ International GLBTQ Haggadah (created by JQ International)
  • - A Haggadah for Justice (social justice and equality content, curated by Haggadot.com team)
  • - The Anonymous Haggadah (created by Jewish Alcoholics, Chemically Dependent Persons and Significant Others).

We are also partnering with Michael Hebb and Seder2015, who have provided two additional featured Haggadot and several other supplements and conversations:

  • - The Human Trafficking Haggadah, with partner Polaris Project
  • - The Interfaith Issues Haggadah, with partner Interfaith Family
  • - A recipe collection, edited by NYC chefs and cookbook authors Eli and Max Sussman in partnership with the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles
  • - A compendium of Passover anecdotes, in partnership with Tablet Magazine
  • - A new initiative to expand the conversation about gentrification, in partnership with Repair The World

And did you know… about sixty percent of Haggadot.com’s more than 37,000 registered members are between the ages of 18-34, indicating that millennials – the digital natives who trust peer-to-peer content more than top-down authoritative content – are seeking out Passover content that is accessible and more personally reflects their passions and interests.

As always, we have our three standard templates – traditional, liberal and secular – for you to start building your Haggadah with, and over 2000 pieces of unique content from 600 contributors worldwide on the topics that are meaningful to you, like social justice, feminism, art, interfaith and addiction. And if you’ve got your own Passover content you’d like to share with the world, share it into our Haggadot.com library.

Check out the full press release for more information.

 

Call for Artists

Posted by Haggadot

From the team behind Haggadot.com comes Custom & Craft, a new site for publishing your own Shabbat services and Jewish celebrations. Soon, you'll be able to mix and match prayers, songs, and artwork for Friday night service, Havdalah, mealtime gatherings, and more. Find out more at http://www.customandcraft.org/.

We are currently accepting submissions for artwork from Jewish artists who wish to engage with ritual and Jewish culture, especially Shabbat. If you have already created such work, we would love to see it and share it with our audience! We can also supply a small fee for artists who create work for us. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our Community Coordinator Melissa Karlin. We would be happy to speak with you more about our website, services and how your artwork will be shared and used in our initiative.

We strongly encourage visual artists, writers and performers to apply. Please submit by providing a link to your portfolio website or images in file attachment to melissa@customandcraft.org