Meet Our Director of Operations, Sydney Schwartz

Posted by Haggadot

Sydney Schwartz, director of operations, smiles at the camera

Welcome Sydney Schwartz, the latest member of the team! We sat down with her to chat about her role as Director of Operations, her passion for strategy, and what she likes most about Jewish life. 


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drew you to this work?


I always felt like my work needed to matter, both to myself and the world around me. I wanted to engage with my community and have a positive impact on the world. Having worked for several years as a project manager and operations specialist at various global non-profits, then dabbling in philanthropy, I quickly realized that my passion and my skill set aligned with working at a small (and growing!) non-profit like Haggadot. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of a strong and agile team that feels deeply connected to this work and demonstrates their passion into all aspects of what we do. 


What three words would you use to describe your role?


I would describe the Director of Operations role and the way I show up each day as strategic, adaptable, and creative. These traits are at the core of my work as we build out our systems and processes that are thoughtfully and intentionally centered around Custom and Craft’s mission, vision, and values. Tailoring these foundational structures to the changing and evolving needs of our organization is exciting and allows me the space to dream big and outward. There is ample room for playfulness and for trying new things, knowing we have the flexibility to adapt as we grow.  


Are there learnings from your previous experience that you’re carrying forward into this work?


One thing that I’m carrying forward is how to find what needs repair or improvement. When someone shows frustration, or when there is an issue with the flow of a process, it doesn’t indicate to me that we can’t move that thing forward; instead it's something that needs to be re-imagined. “Does this fit our needs,” is a question I ask myself and my team frequently. I’ve learned that having these check-ins with individual team members and the group as a whole helps the flow and evolution of the systems in place and can prevent, or at least ease, future hiccups. 


I also have to emphasize carrying forward self-confidence and care. While I am definitely my own worst critic, I recognize that it’s just a part of my process, and I know that being confident in my ideas and caring to myself brings balance to my life and work.


What excites you about managing the flow of operations at, and what are you most looking forward to working on?


Haggadot is a young and innovative organization - with a fantastic team to boot! I’m most excited for the opportunity to build and own systems and policies that will scale, evolve and sustain the organization for years to come. It’s through these foundational structures that a rhythm of how we work is created, and it’s important to me that this matches the culture of the organization and how our Leadership team envisions the organization growing into the future.


What’s your favorite thing about Jewish life?


While I’m very new to the Haggadot team, they know all too well about my love of food and the importance I place on it. It’s not just about consuming (although that is an important part), it’s about the connection it brings me to my family, to our history, and to our traditions. I believe that these traditions and rituals are beautiful heirlooms that are easier to carry forward than, for example, my great grandmother’s dining room set that still sits in my mother’s garage. Luckily, that great grandmother also left us a slew of verbally passed-down recipes. Much lighter to carry! When these are brought to life, they bring back memories and conversation from those at the table chatting about the “right” and “wrong” ways to make a matzah ball. That’s the beauty of Judaism, every way is the right way.  

Meet Our New Community Manager, Ryn Silverstein

Posted by Haggadot

Ryn Silverstein, a white person with dark hair and red glasses, smiles at the camera

We sat down with Ryn Silverstein, the latest addition to the team, to discuss ritual, Jewish life, and Ryn's new role. Here's what they had to say: 


Tell me about an early memory of a special ritual. 

When I was quite young, my family had a regular meditation practice. Sometimes, family friends would come over to our house and we’d all meditate together. I remember being around seven or eight years old and just sitting silently on the couch with my eyes closed for upwards of thirty minutes at a time—maybe that sounds impressive but I honestly spent most of that time daydreaming instead of practicing nonattachment to my thoughts. Either way, it was always a special time where I felt I could really rest and let my mind wander without any other responsibilities. Even at that young age, I began to feel connected to something beyond myself, and I think it was also vital in nurturing my ability to think creatively, which was essential in a space without distractions like tv or video games!


What excites you about being the first Community Manager at 


I see as the best kind of potluck, one where everyone brings a really special dish to share and it’s possible to combine different foods together to make something unique and delicious. This community is made up of so many brilliant people, each of whom has their own take on rituals that can make Jewish life more intentional, diverse, and inclusive for us all. It’s an honor to be the first Community Manager, and I’m thrilled to have the space and creative freedom to innovate and to work with so many amazing people. 


What are you looking forward to creating in this role? 


I’m especially excited to bring my ritual expertise to this role in creating more LGBTQ+ content, rituals for social justice, and rituals to support creativity and connect with one’s soul purpose. Rituals connect us to something beyond ourselves, whether that’s community, divinity, or a greater sense of meaning in life. I sincerely believe that within every experience lies a ritual just waiting to be created. 


What’s a ritual that’s close to your heart? 


In 2019, I received ordination from the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute, which is a feminist ritual leadership training program that focuses on embodied experience and earth-based Judaism. As part of my training, I developed and led a queer full moon ritual for the month of Tammuz. As Tammuz is traditionally a month tinged with grief in preparation for the traditional mourning day of Tisha b’Av several weeks afterwards, the kavanah, or intention, of the ritual was twofold: to connect with the grief so many of us were feeling and continue to feel around white supremacy, climate change, and other important issues while simultaneously replenishing ourselves for the work still to come. The ritual itself centered around handwashing, a traditional Jewish practice of cleansing and purification, and participants said afterwards that they came away feeling refreshed and renewed. 


What would you change about Jewish life? 


To my mind, much of Jewish life today is still very focused on a narrow understanding of Jewish continuity, that is, the focus on replicating a very specific kind of Jewish identity that can exclude patrilineal Jews, Jews of Color, LGBTQ Jews, interfaith families, and Jews-by-choice, among others. Driving this exclusion is the fear that Jewish life is changing beyond recognition. But while Jewish life is indeed changing, isn’t that cause for celebration? I for one welcome a more diverse and inclusive Judaism that creates room for and celebrates the multiplicity of our identities and perspectives. And here at, we’re creating and curating rituals to do just that. 


How are you hoping to build relationships with our community of users? 


I’m looking forward to connecting with this community by reaching out to those who are already engaged in creating ritual content, whether that’s Passover-focused, related to everyday spirituality, or for the High Holidays, and cultivating those relationships as well as inviting those who are engaged users but not necessarily content creators into deeper relationship with us on a communal level. I hope to do this through webinars, one on one podcast conversations, and further developing our communal space. 

Raise A Glass! Passover Starts Tonight!

Posted by Haggadot

Raise A Glass! Passover Starts Tonight! 

Don't risk spotty wi-fi or printers running out of ink...
download your haggadah now!

Have Haggadah-Making Questions?
Our team is available via email tonight until 6pm Eastern

Our Top Five Tips For Tomorrow! You've Got This!

Posted by Haggadot

Hey Seder-Makers, it's almost time for Passover!
Here's our TOP FIVE tips for a great night!

1. Go Easy On Yourself

Want to have a short seder? That's ok! Take it easy on yourself and it will still be meaningful. 
Download the Minimalist Haggadah10-Minute Dayenu Seder, the #FriendSeder or the Seder Guide from OneTable. And don't forget, you can use any of our Featured Haggadahs as your starting point, or add something new or from our clip library .

2. Prioritize

What is the one thing you want to get out of this holiday? Does it mean you watch videos during the seder, then let the kids color while the adults continue chatting? Do you want skits & laughter? A marathon of song parodies? Prioritize what you need this year from Passover and it will be meaningful. 

3. Connect With Community

Passover is all about gathering together and telling the story of our collective journey from slavery to freedom. Find a seder to join, or invite your friends and family to celebrate with you on our new events platform Powered By OneTable. Discover Passover events online and in your community.

4. Be In The Moment

In challenging times, Passover is an opportunity to reflect on what is happening in our lives, give gratitude, tell our stories and reconnect to the rhythm of Jewish time. Bring this current moment into your celebration by adding new symbolic items to your seder plate. Make space for the people of Ukraine with our Seder Supplement or take a moment to exhale with our Passover Meditation Guide.

5. Don't Let Tech Get In The Way

Online seders aren't about technology - they're just a great way to ease connection.
We recommend downloading your PDF Haggadah BEFORE your seder to avoid any stressful last-minute issues. Our team is here to help UNTIL FRIDAY at 6:00 PM ET.

Wishing you heartfelt, uplifting, connective & surprising seders,
The Team

Watch the Webinar: Welcoming the Stranger

Posted by Haggadot



Your Passover seder can be an opportunity to show solidarity with refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. In this session, educators from HIAS and Paideia share haggadot, resources, activities and practical tools to talk about displacement and the global refugee crisis at your seder.  The webinar concludes with Q&A about the current situation of Ukrainian refugees in Europe.


We are grateful to our partners at HIAS and Paideia, as well as our presenters Rabbi Megan Doherty, Avital Shein and Meiron Avidan for sharing their ideas and experiences with us. 

If you've been inspired to make space for refugees at your Passover seder, download your copy of the HIAS Haggadah, or to add the HIAS DayenuKiddush Blessing or Poem to your haggadah. You can download our new Honoring the People of Ukraine Seder Supplement or find creative seder plate items to add to your table.  

The HIAS Passover page also features the Gishur Passover resource



Knock Knock! 🤣🤣 Your Seder Needs These Laughs!

Posted by Haggadot

Hey Passover Pals! Get ready to laugh out loud at your seder when you download our updated Comedy Seder. Or add jokes, parodiesskits & games to any haggadah and bring the funny.

Comedy Seder

We're making it easy for you to bring the best of our site to your family's seder with our 2022 Favorites Haggadah

2022 Favorites Haggadah

Highlights From 2022 & Throwback Favorites

9 Easy Seder Activities

Sunflower Seeds On Your Seder Plate

Four Passover Shabbat Questions

A Personal Coming Out

Finding Meaning

2021 | 2020 | 2019 | Greatest Hits Haggadah

Watch the Webinar: Challenging the Carbon Pharaohs

Posted by Haggadot



Join Rabbi Arthur Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Berman from the Shalom Center as they guide us through new Tellings of the Haggadah, looking back at history and at the call for earth justice in our current moment. Together, they’ll share insights into their new Earth & Justice Freedom-Seder challenging the Corporate Carbon Pharaohs, the Iftar-Seder bringing together Muslims and Jews as Passover and Ramadan coincide, and the impact of the Freedom Seder more than 50 years later.

Explore the offerings of the Shalom Center, including the 50th Anniversary Interfaith Freedom Seder, the Freedom Seder for the Earth and the new version of Let My People Go sung by Rabbi Waskow.



The Best Seder I Ever Attended…In May

Posted by Haggadot

Best Seder Ever
By Julee S. Levine
I’m 49 years old. So if I estimate that I have attended at least one seder a year, sometimes two, for the past 48 years, plus model seders in religious school, and carry the one…I have attended enough seders to have strong attitudes about what I like, what I zone out for, and what really helps me connect to Pesach in meaningful and moving ways.
Interestingly, the best seder I attended was not even on Pesach.  It was Memorial Day weekend, 1990-something. My father (z”l) was in rehearsals for the play “Beau Jest,” where a young Jewish woman, tired of her parents' well-intentioned nagging about getting married, creates the perfect imaginary Jewish boyfriend (as a cover for her non-Jewish boyfriend). When she brings him home for Passover seder, she contacts an escort service…and hilarity ensues.
As it turned out, my dad was the only Jewish person in the cast.  The Passover seder scene is a huge part of the show.  No one else had been to an actual seder before. My dad knew that this was not the sort of thing you could just explain in words and have the cast understand. And relying on depictions of seders from TV and movies would just not do.  So, my dad did the only logical thing…and informed my stepmom that on Memorial Day Sunday, we’d be hosting the entire cast at the house for seder.
Out came the Maxwell House Haggadot, the lonely box of matza still lurking in the pantry, the best Manischewitz we had, and the other accoutrement to make a proper seder for a dozen actors so they could put on a fantastic show.
I loved this seder, because absolutely no question was off limits. These folks wanted to know more about why each part mattered. Some had experienced a Passover celebration at their churches, but none had experienced it as a Jewish holiday.  The parts of the seder dedicated to explaining the symbols and the foods became richer, as these became first-time explanations, and not just “those parts we read year after year.”  
My father and I even became dialect coaches as we explained the delicate process of making a convincing ch sound, right at the back of your throat.  Each time my dad would explain how things were “traditionally” done, the cast asked him how he would do it, wanting to get a feeling for what it would be like for an actual family, and not just people following a script.
My dad learned to lead a seder from his father. I learned from him. That night, we not only showed them how to lead a seder, but what it meant to be a guest at the table, to become a part of the story, and that you never need to stop at just four questions.
About the Author: Julee Levine is the Director of Supplemental Education at Adat Ari El in Valley Village, CA. She is a career educator who has worked with almost all ages and stages in a variety of settings. When she is not seder hopping, you can find her engaged in professional development, immersed in sports, and competing on game shows (four and counting).  She feels strongly about gefilte fish (jarred), matzo balls (firm), and horseradish (red).
This Passover, We're Connecting In A Whole New Way!

Posted by Haggadot

OneTable Passover branding has partnered with OneTable this Passover this year to empower people to create, host, and participate in meaningful Passover gatherings.  Post your seder or discover in-person and virtual Passover events at serves more than half a million Jews annually with a diverse library of Passover resources, including assistance for people to build a Passover experience around themes most relevant to them. Now with a new events platform, Powered By OneTable, users can also discover Passover events that speak to them and invite guests directly to their own seders.

“People of different backgrounds and with different perspectives can all draw meaning from the interactive rituals of Passover,” adds Eileen Levinson, Founder & Executive Director of “The Seder can focus on freedom, social justice, oppression, antisemitism, LGTBQ+ experiences, and more. Whether informed by events in our world today or by something in one’s life, this DIY dinner party can be deeply powerful. Young adults are searching for experiences that add value and enrich their lives—that give them space to ask some big questions and ponder possible answers."

Discover Passover resources from OneTable here:

For young adults age 21-39ish, OneTable is “nourishing” (subsidizing) first and second Seders on April 15-16. The first night coincides with Shabbat, when OneTable empowers young adults to connect with friends in meaningful weekly rituals. Young adults can apply to become a host by April 5, post their Seders and invite friends or find seats at open dinners.  OneTable will elevate their Seder with resources and up to $10 per guest, up to $100 per Seder.  In the spirit of welcoming and hospitality, OneTable will nourish a host for both Seders if they invite different groups of family or friends to attend each.  

Watch The Webinar: Office Hours

Posted by Haggadot




Join the team live on Zoom with all your haggadah-making and seder hosting questions...including a demo of our new events featured, Powered By OneTable!   From the creative to the technical and everything in between, we're here to help you make this Passover celebration meaningful and personal.

To watch the demonstration of our new events feature, start at 31:59 in the video.