Another Year in Slingshot!

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We're honored to be part of the Slingshot Class of 2014-2015! Check out the full article in EJewishPhilanthropy.

Put the Finishing Touches on Your Haggadah

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Image from our new video "The Passover Seder - A How-To Guide"

We’re in the home stretch! Passover begins tomorrow night at sunset, so now is the perfect time to put the finishing touches on your Haggadah, and print it out so you have it on hand for your seder.
 
Can't remember everything you should have in your haggadah? We made this cute little video to remind you. Check it out--we're pretty proud of it. 

And if you think your haggadah could use a little something more, here are some of our favorite clips:

 
Wishing you a very happy Passover, and excellent seders!

Artwork for your Haggadah

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The Burning Bush

Passover is a few days away, and you’re probably putting the finishing touches on your Haggadot. If you’re looking to add some striking visuals to your Haggadah, we’ve got you covered with over 400 options. Here are some of our favorite pieces of art that you can add to your Haggadah.

Burning Bush

This striking stained glass-like image gives a dreamy feel to the miracle that kicked off the whole story.

 

Chad Gadya

You can’t have the traditional song about a goat without an adorable picture of a baby goat, can you?

A Seder in Europe in 1943

This picture of a seder held in Europe in 1943 depicts dozens of soldiers taking a break from fighting the Nazis to eat some matzah and have the customary four cups of wine.

Lego Slavery

The Israelites suffered greatly under Pharaoh, and this Lego image is surprisingly evocative. Use it as a challenge to the Lego movie lovers in your midst: who can create the most impressive Lego scene from the Exodus?

This is just a taste of all the art we have at Haggadot.com. Choose your favorites for your own Haggadah here.

 

Create a Video Playlist for Your Haggadah

Posted by Haggadot

Less than a week to go until the first seder, so it’s time to put the finishing touches on your Haggadot so they’re ready for you on seder night. At Haggadot.com we have tons of text clips that are perfect for your print Haggadot, but we also have dozens of video clips, perfect for helping get you into the mood for Passover, and for playing at your seder if you use electronics on the holiday. Here are some of our favorite video clips:

For the a capella lovers: The Fountainheads Dayenu medley

We guarantee this song will be stuck in your head for hours, plus it has stunning visuals, some excellent costumes, and live camels.

Stop Motion Yachatz

This stop motion video is a deeply creative look at the numbers in the seder, and the way that the breaking of the matzah might symbolize different things.

For the history buffs: Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the Four Freedoms

Which kind of freedom is most valuable to you?

Women of the Wall

If you’ve been following the Women of the Wall controversy, this video is a fascinating look at what it’s really like to be there. A poignant and emotional video that will spur lots of discussion about freedom of religion within Israel.

Check out all of our video clips here, or upload your own.

Did you see our shoutout in the Forward by Jay Michaelson? He wrote, "First things first. Haggadot.com has, in the three years since its launch, become a well-oiled Pesadik machine. Templates, video clips, clean web design — there is no longer any excuse for not making your own Haggadah, mixing and matching from the wealth of online resources, like making a Passover playlist. Haggadot.com is no longer just a start-up — to me, it’s the industry standard. Now I’m ready for Machzor.com." Read more here.

Add a Little Game Play to Your Seder

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Yoga For Your Seder Table - Triangle Pose, By Marcus Freed of Bibliyoga

Sure, seder means order, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play around at your seder. In fact, we have over 60 games and activities that will help give your seder a healthy dose of fun. Some of these games are great for young children, but we also have lots that are fun for grown ups, and intergenerational groups, too. Here are some of our favorites:

Afikomen Treasure Hunt by Adam Hopkins
Don’t just hide the afikomen, send your guests on a treasure hunt all over the house, tracking down clues that come straight from the story of the Exodus. A nice way to add something new to the traditional afikomen search. 

Yoga for Your Seder Table from Marcus J Freed 
Marcus Freed runs Bibliyoga.com, and he has a series of clips to add to your haggadah that bring some deep movement into your feast of freedom. These yoga poses can be adapted for any body, and some can even be done while seated at the table. Want to bring a little freedom into your body during the seder? This is a great way to start.

A Guided Visualization for Healing from the Kalsman Institute
We are all slaves to something, and this guided visualization allows the leader to bring seder participants through a meaningful and deep visualization of slavery, and of releasing the bonds of slavery. A great way to bring some intense energy to your seder.

A Passover Play by Rabbi Daniel Brenner
This 10-minute play is the perfect way to get guests of all ages involved in the story, and get through the Maggid section without putting anyone to sleep. It has 13 parts in it, so it works for big groups, too.

Four Children Drawing Activity by Made it Myself Books
Made it Myself Books has several options for pages you can include with space for kids to draw their own illustrations. If you’re not comfortable with drawing at your seder send it to kids ahead of time, and make sure to pass around their works of art during the seder so everyone can ooh and ah. 

We also recommend this extensive list of activities that will spice up your seder. You can even add your own!

If none of these float your boat, don’t worry, there are dozens more. Check out our full clip library here, or just the clips that include games and activities here

 

 

 

 

Bring a Famous Seder to Your Seder

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You’ve probably been to some pretty famous seders in your day. The year your toddler cousin accidentally head-butted your dad while searching for the afikoman, and you had to take your dad to the ER to get his nose looked at. The time the roast was completely raw in the middle. The time your uncle drank more than four cups and said some things you all regretted.

Throughout Jewish history, Jews have been having epic seders of all kinds. You may want to forget raw roast, but we’ve got some great clips that will help you bring the spirit of some famous seders to your seder. Here’s hoping that this year your seder will be famous for being so awesome.

Famous Seder: The Last Supper

Famous Because: Jesus led it

Clip recommendations: Spring, Time for Choices and Family by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky examines some of the ways we can approach an interfaith seder respectfully and thoughtfully, bringing many different traditions to one (seder) table

Haggadah and Liberation by Mark looks at the history behind the seder, and explains some of the different understandings of the Last Supper in both Judaism and Christianity.

Famous Seder: The Seder in Bnei Brak

Famous Because: The traditional Haggadah text uses this seder as the paradigm for all long seders—it lasted through the night til dawn

Clip recommendations: Seder in Bnei Brak by Daniel gives the historical context behind the epically long seder, explaining that its length was due in part to the rabbis using the ritual as a cover for some strategic planning they were doing to try to overthrow the emperor Hadrian. Sneaky!

Maaseh bBnei Brak by Bangitout.com is a smart alecky look at this seder, with plenty of rabbinic wisdom mixed in to boot. Why did all those rabbis come spend Passover with Rabbi Akiva? And why did the rabbis lie??

Famous Seder: The Last Seder in Warsaw before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Famous Because: In just a few days the remaining Jews in the ghetto would put up one last fight before being shipped off to death camps by the Nazis

Clip recommendations: Yad Vashem has put together this poignant video that collects the testimony of a handful of survivors who experienced that fateful seder.

Shefoch Hamotcha by Rabbi Michael Lirner considers the Warsaw seder, and the ways that those in the present who choose to testify to the possibility of transformation become the focus of everyone’s anger and displaced frustrations, and eventually their murderous rage.  

Famous Seder: The First Freedom Seder

Famous Because: Just a year after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Jews and Africans American joined together for a seder to celebrate the freedom they fought for together, and to steel themselves for the journey to come.

Clip recommendations: Some video footage from the original Freedom seder still exists, and you can watch it with your seder. We especially love the emotional singing of “Let my people go.”

Texts on Social Justice by AJWS gives you a lot of great civil right and social justice sources to examine as a seder. What resonates with you? What’s the civil rights cause that you find yourself thinking about at your seder?

 

Let the Passover Preparations Begin

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Now that Purim is behind us Passover is the next big event on our calendars. And Passover, particularly the seders, require lots of planning, preparing and organizing.

 

Here at Haggadot.com we can’t help you with the house-cleaning, and we don’t remember how many boxes of matzah you had left over at the end of the holiday last year. But we can help you prepare for some truly fantastic seders.

 

Step 1 is to decide whom you’re going to invite. Will it be just family? Mostly close friends? Are you organizing your Temple’s community seder? Think about creating a guest list that will allow you to craft the kind of experience you want to have—maybe you want to focus on families with young children, so that you can make a seder that will really stimulate kids. Or maybe you want a crowd that are all involved in working in one field, or have something particular in common. Think about the kind of conversation you want to have, and who are the best people to invite to create that environment.

 

As you start to get RSVPs, you’re ready to begin more careful planning of what you want your seder to be like. If you’ll have lots of kids at the table, you may want something really interactive, with lots of games and activities. We’ve got you covered, with well over 50 seder games in our clip library. I especially recommend seder bingo, the bitter herb taste test, and the circle of plagues game.  

 

If you have a crowd of singles, maybe you want to promote lots of discussion to get people talking to each other. This is a good opportunity to check out the progressive clips in our clip library (even if you don’t consider yourself progressive, we bet these clips will lead to lots of heated discussion. Some highlights: the 21 Jump Street activity, Freeing Your Inner Pharaoh, and Occupy Passover.

 

Or maybe you want to make sure you have some gorgeous artwork and interesting pictures in your Haggadah. We have over 350 images for you to choose from to make your Haggadah easy on the eyes.

 

Whatever you choose, I guarantee we have some clips that will get you started on building your Haggadah. Head over to our clip library and begin searching for the content to build your Haggadah, and start uploading your own content to create something unique just for your seder.

 

Passover is just four weeks away. Let’s get planning!

Happy Purim from Haggadot.com!

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Yes, we’re a Passover-themed website, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a little Purim-inspired fun and silliness. This year, to kick off our Passover preparations we’re sponsoring a caption contest for this picture from someecards.com.

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 If you come up with the funniest seder-themed caption you’ll win one of our amazing Shabbatote bags, designed by Haggadot.com founder Eileen Levinson.  

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There are two ways to enter the contest:

1) Like us on facebook. You’ll see the ecard on our facebook page. Leave your seder caption as a comment on that post.

2) Head over to someecards.com. Choose Create Your Own from the top menu, and then from the dropdown menu select Drinking. Click on Choose an Image, and select drinking. Choose the picture of a man holding a wine glass (bottom row, third from the left). Add your seder caption. When it’s ready, share your card on facebook, and make sure to tag Haggadot.com.

Next week we’ll select the top three entries and post them on facebook. Whichever post gets the most likes will win the tote bags prize.

Deadline for submitting your caption is March 19th. We’ll post the top three on March 20th, and you’ll have until March 24th to like your favorites.

And hey, once your hamantaschen are our of the oven, it’s time to start thinking about what you kind of Haggadah you want to create this year. Head on over to our clip library to see what new and exciting things we have to offer.

Happy Purim from everyone at Haggadot.com!

The Final Countdown to the Seders

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In a day and a half we'll be gathered around the seder table with our families and friends, ready to begin telling the ancient story of freedom from the bonds of slavery, of our transition from slaves in Egypt to free people in a promised land. Do you have your Haggadah at the ready? If you're still looking for some last minute additions, here are some of our favorite suggestions, mostly from the Neverending Haggadah, a partnership this year between Haggadot.com and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network.

Cover -- we love this cartoon, submitted by Eitan Stieber. Don't miss the exodus because you were waiting for your bread to rise!

Introduction--A quick guide to your seder plate, brought to you by Moishe House and MyJewishLearning.com

Kadesh--This inspiring reflection on the four cups of wine comes from the Shalom Hartman Institute, and is sure to get your seder conversation flowing. 

Urchatz--Why do we wash our hands without a blessing, and then break bread without eating it? This ritualwell source, submitted by Lisa Friedman, helps us answer this puzzling question.

Karpas--JQ International GLBT Haggadah gives us this new take on karpas, suggesting we eat a fruit salad, instead of a sprig of parsley,  to recognize the different kinds of people in our lives, and their collective potential.

Yachatz--If you're looking to think deeply about matzah, and what it truly means, this reading from A Way In Jewish Mindfulness Program, uses the physicality of the matzah to open our minds to the pain of oppression.

 Maggid

Introduction--Reform CA and Rabbis Organizing Rabbis bring us this Immigration Seder Ritual that reminds us of the all the immigrants who make the food that is on our table available to us.

Four Questions-- Questions can lead to connection and learning, but they can also lead to disconnection and disintegration. Questions can be used to build up, but they can also be used to destroy, explains Rabbi Josh Feigelson

The Four Sons―Uri L'Tzedek provides a new take on the Four Children, who in this imagining, ask questions about the food on the table, and its origins.

Exodus Story-- BibleRaps provides an awesome and fun song called Moses Vs Pharoah (You Know My Name)

Ten Plagues―How can we rejoice in the suffering of the Egyptians? Calev Ben Dor reflects on this struggle in the Haggadah. 

Dayenu―This contribution from Danielle Selber reminds us to pause and notice that where we are is exactly where we ought to be, and that Dayenu is a reminder to never forget all the miracles in our lives.

Rachtzah-- Rabbi Ari Weiss from Uri L'Tzedek asks us to think about washing our hands as a metaphor for cleansing the world from evil. 

Motzi Matzah―OurJewishCommunity.org explains the ways that matzah has been understood through history. 

Maror-- Wesley Harris recounts a story of eating horseradish and using the breath of God to get past the spicy bitterness to freedom.  

Koreich―Ever wondered why, exactly, we make a sandwich with matzah and horseradish? This excerpt from Telling the Story: A Passover Haggadah Explained, gives the fascinating history of this ritual. 

Shulhan Orech―Where do gefilte fish come from? Gerald Weiss brings us this Mythical Midrash Concerning Gefilte Fish that also happens to be hilarious. 

Tzafun―When we eat the afikomen and unite the broken of pieces of matzah the Kalsman Institute reminds us that at the seder we have the opportunity to discover lost parts of ourselves, to become reconciled with relatives who have become distant and to find wholeness in aspects of Judaism which may not have been part of our lives.

Bareich-- As we say the Grace after Meals, JewishBoston.com reminds us to center ourselves for the rest of the seder journey.  

Hallel-- Gerald Weiss brings us this explanation for the cup of Miriama modern addition to the seder that honors Miriam's contributions to the Exodus. 

NirtzahAs we reach the end of the seder, this poem from Adrienne Rich helps us to imagine what Freedom feels like.  

 

Best Clips for Bringing Social Justice to Your Seder

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The text of the haggadah naturally leads to a greater discussion about social justice, modern slavery, and oppression. The Passover seder is the perfect time for a serious discussion about the injustices we see in the world today, and a good time for us to share with our families stories of the causes and problems we car about and worry about. Here at Haggadot.com we have well over 100 clips designed to help kickstart the social justice discussion at your seder. Here are ten of our favorites:

A Tale of Two Stories by Donniel Hartmann

In this clip, Rabbi Dr. Donniel Hartmann reminds us that the haggadah tells the story of Jews as both victims and victors, and reminds us that if we're going to be victors, we can't forget the victims all over the world. 

Why is this Year Different From All Other Years: A Reading for the Four Questions from the American Jewish World Service 

On most other nights, we allow the news of tragedy in distant places to pass us by. We succumb to compassion fatigue – aware that we cannot possibly respond to every injustice that arises around the world. On this night, we are reminded that our legacy as the descendants of slaves creates in us a different kind of responsibility – we are to protect the stranger because we were strangers in the land of Egypt.

The Fifth Question from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger

This very short and simple text asks us to consider one more question after the traditional four questions. "Why on this night are millions of people still going hungry?" 

Ask Big Questions: Are We Free

This conversation guide helps you lead a discussion about whether you and your guests are really free--free from what? How did you become free? How can you help others find freedom?

Jewish Solidarity with Native American People Supplement

This text links Native American activists with the characters in the story of the Exodus, and draws parallels between the Israelites' walk to freedom through the desert, and the Navajo Long Walk. 

10 Modern Plagues by Jewish Women's Archive

Passover is a good time to remember that, even after our liberation from slavery in Egypt, there are still many challenges for us to meet. Here are ten “modern plagues” from inequity to feeling overwhelmed and disempowered.

A Quote from Malcolm X

Use this quote from Malcolm X about oppressors and those being oppressed to begin a discussion on the problem with some people being free, while others are not. 

Liberation in God's Image from Rabbis for Human Rights

This reading is designed to remind seder participants about the value and strength of progressive Islam.

Fair Trade Chocolate on the Seder Plate from the Global Exchange and Fair Trade Judaice

Put a piece of fair trade chocolate on your seder plate and use it as a jumping off point for a discussion about fair trade labor practices around the world. 

Maror from Uri L'Tzedek

At the moment in the seder when we think about the suffering in Egypt, this text reminds us to think about the migrant workers of today, who still toil in the fields for barely any pay.