Passover Pre-Planning! Join Our Virtual Book Club!

Posted by Haggadot

Nine weeks until Passover! Have you thought about your seder yet? No pressure! We want to help you have the most creative, stress-free seder ever and that's easier with some early planning. Starting next week, we'll provide weekly tips for hosting the seder of your dreams with a dreamy Haggadah to match. Need some inspiration? Click here for some our favorites


Passover Planning Tip of the Week: Start Reading The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters

Priya Parker's book is a great primer for anyone hosting a gathering, and is especially useful for creating a memorable seder. Read her delightful collection of tips, personal anecdotes and case studies for a new perspective on hosting, then join us on Friday, March 6 at 12pm EST on Zoom for a virtual "book club" conversation. We recommend saving paper and $$ by borrowing the ebook from your local library.


PS - We want to here from you!
Do you have a great seder tip that you'd like to share with us? Or a favorite reading that you think we should feature? Email [email protected] with your ideas.

Hosting A Tu Bisvhat Seder

Posted by Haggadot

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Did you know that there is a long tradition of holding a Tu BiShvat Seder that harks all the way back to the 16th century? Unlike the Passover Seder, however, the focus is the mystical aspects of the natural world and humankind’s connection to the Earth, particularly the Land of Israel. Here are some ideas you can use to make your own Tu BiShvat Seder:


Drink Four Cups of Wine

It is customary to drink four cups of wine. Traditionally, the first cup is white wine, representing snow, winter, and a lack of natural growth. The second cup is a mixture of 2/3 white and 1/3 red wine to represent the beginning of spring and the potential for growth. The third cup is half white and half red to represent spring in full bloom, and the fourth is pure red to represent summer and the end of the agricultural cycle.


Eat A Variety of Fruits and Nuts

It is customary to make a blessing on fruits falling into four different categories, each symbolizing a particular aspect of our connection to the Earth:

  • Fruits or nuts with a hard shell and a soft interior, such as almonds or coconuts, represent the protection afforded us by the Earth and the importance of guarding and nurturing our spiritual interior.

  • Soft fruits with a hard pit, such as olives or dates, symbolize the essential life-giving energy emanating from the Earth and the spiritual potential we hold inside us.

  • Fruits that are soft throughout, like raisins or figs, represent God’s omnipresence in the natural world and in our lives.

  • Tough-skinned fruits with a sweet interior, like citrus fruits or prickly pears (sabra), symbolize the hidden mysteries of the Earth and our study of Torah to uncover them.


Add Poetry & Readings About Trees And The Environment

Now more than ever, it is essential to find time to reflect on the natural world, our inextricable connection to it, and our obligation toward it. You can use the Tu Bishvat Haggadah on Custom & Craft, and customize it with any of the resourcs on the site, or write your own!


Other Ideas

  • Buy only organic fruits and nuts for your Seder

  • Recycle by printing your readings or haggadot on the backside of used paper, or use a digital PDF on Custom & Craft

  • Compost the peels and shells from your Seder

  • Make your Seder meal vegetarian or even vegan!

  • Take a walk in the park or the woods and notice the sights, sounds and smells around you!

by David Diamond

We're Hiring!

Posted by Haggadot

Custom & Craft / is seeking a Community Manager!

Responsibilities include:


- Managing our social media presence

- Assisting in partnership development with Jewish organizations & content providers

- Responding to user questions and flagging technical issues

- Maintaining our user database and email list


Required skills: 


- High attention to detail

- Ability to independently manage timelines & multiple deadlines

- Excellent writing and communication skills 

- Experience managing social media accounts


This is a junior-level position for 8-10 hours per week, working remotely. The Community Manager will have the opportunity to learn about all facets of our operations. Preference will be given to candidates with previous work experience with Jewish nonprofits or media brands who express interest in long-term growth with our organization.


Applicants should send a short email with their resume & hourly rate to: 


Eileen Levinson, Executive Creative Director | Custom & Craft 

[email protected] 

Custom & Craft Jewish Rituals, Inc is a nonprofit design lab using technology & new media to reimagine ancient traditions. invites Jews of all backgrounds to create and publish their own personalized Passover Haggadah.


Tu Bishvat – An Invitation to Reconnect with the Earth

Posted by Haggadot

Tu Bishvat is one of four Jewish New Year celebrations, specifically the “New Year for Trees” or Rosh Hashanah La’Ilanot. Originally, the date served as the start of the Jewish agricultural year, a calendar subject to a number of laws and practices regarding planting, harvesting, and tithing. For example, orlah, or the Biblical prohibition against eating the fruits of trees in their first three years of life, affords trees a solid growth period to ensure the success of later, mature harvests. In modern times, Tu Bishvat continues to mark a day of environmental importance in Israel, as it has become the national Arbor Day, celebrated by tree-planting en masse, a time-honored tradition in Judaism. Indeed, Israel is one of the only nations in the world to have entered the 21st century with more trees than it had one hundred years ago.


The holiday of Tu Bishvat offers time to reflect on Judaism’s relationship to the environment and its preservation, particularly in light of the dire state of our ecology at present. As Genesis recounts, human beings were formed from the very earth itself, and the name of the first human being, Adam, comes from the same root as the Hebrew word for earth, adamah. Our tradition sees humans as of the land and thus for the land, as both inhabitants and guardians.


We might see trees as the lungs of the Earth, and appreciate their value for providing food and shade, preventing soil erosion, braking the wind, and regulating temperatures. But perhaps they are equally important to us as humans for the contrast between us and them. Whereas trees by their very nature are rooted right into the earth, human beings need to strike roots into the earth willingly, out of conscious endeavor. On Tu Bishvat, we are called upon to take the time to cultivate these roots, to dig ourselves deep into the land, to feel its needs and respond to them. So important is this practice that Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai instructed that should the Messiah come while we are engaged in planting a sapling, we must first finish the planting and only then greet the Messiah! So this year, let us all celebrate Tu Bishvat by redoubling our efforts to make environmentally-conscious decisions every single day. Recycle more, conserve more water, invest in renewable energy, or just go out and plant a tree!


by David Diamond, Guest Contributor


Goodbye Chanukah, Hello Passover!

Posted by Haggadot

When we lit the menorah last night, I felt so much gratitude for the many Jewish communities that brighten our world, including our own community, with nearly 50,000 members across the globe. It's truly a pleasure to co-create with you!
In 2020 we will celebrate an exciting milestone:'s 10th Passover Season! Please consider a special year-end gift to kick-off our celebrations, or even a monthly membership to support our work throughout the entire year. 
As you know, we're more than just a Passover resource. Custom & Craft has become a design lab for all aspects of Jewish life, with DIY booklets for the High Holidays, Chanukah, Shabbat and more. We're especially proud of our new Product Design Workshop, which recently produced The Heirloom Circle, a ritual guide & activity kit for families to explore their heritage through shared heirlooms.
Every donation helps us continue growing and creating together. We can't wait to celebrate with you in 2020.
Thanks for your support! And have a happy Chanukah!
Happy Chanukah!

Posted by Haggadot

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Happy Chanukah, Haggadah-Makers! We hope you have a holiday filled with joy, light and of course, latkes! Get ready to start your Passover 2020 Haggadah in the new year! We can't wait to share all the exciting ideas for your Passover seder.


#GivingTuesday Totes! Donate Before Chanukah

Posted by Haggadot

We ❤️ our supporters!
Donate by Friday and we'll send you a free tote!


Donate Today for a free gift!

Our #GivingTuesday campaign was so popular that we're extending the offer until the end of the week! Through Friday, Dec 13, we're sending free "Jewish Baggage" totes to all donors who make a special year-end gift of $36 or more! DONATE TODAY TO GET YOUR FREE TOTE!


Or even better, become a MONTHLY DONOR and you'll help us create inspiring new tools for Jewish life all year long! You'll get a free tote, plus, we'll stop asking you for money for an entire year! That means no more donation requests when you download from the websites, and no fundraising emails until it's time to renew your membership. Pretty great, right? 

Resources for Yom Kippur

Posted by Haggadot

Yom Kippur starts this evening! Check out our favorite blessings & readings for simple ways to connect to this important day. We hope you have a meaningful holiday! 

Have Your Heard About Brand Camp?

Posted by Haggadot

Have you heard about our Brand Camp training program? It starts in just a couple weeks, and I want make sure you have a chance to register! This 7-week series of online classes & personal coaching sessions will help you freshen up your brand & social media strategy for the Jewish New Year. 

Click here for the full schedule & class descriptions. You can join the webinars live, or catch up on recordings to work at your own pace. Sign up by this Friday, July 5th for $25 off your registration.

I hope we can work together! See below for what past participants have said about working with Custom & Craft.
As always, free to email me directly with questions. 


Eileen Levinson
Founder & Executive Creative Director | Custom & Craft

Reviews From Past Brand Camp Participants:
Custom & Craft Brand Camp helped me/my organization understand just how important it is to have a consistent brand that connects people to our work and our mission. I was able to take the valuable tools I gained and apply them immediately to our website and brand materials. What became so clear to me, what Eileen really helped us understand, was that it is so important to be true to our core values, our "why" and then think about what it is we do. She helped us understand what makes us special, what differentiates us. I cannot thank her enough.
— Julia Moss, The Miracle Project
Eileen was able to take our intentions and focus them into solid and effective ideas. It has been a pleasure working with her. I’ve learned so much.
— Neshama Kravitz, Brand Camp Participant 2018
When I reached out to Custom & Craft, I was hoping to get some technical assistance in executing a specific social media campaign. But when we met, her thoughtful and directed questions made it clear to me that my initial idea was not viable. She asked that I complete a simple yet challenging assignment that has become the core of a campaign that will be far more effective in capturing the attention of those who need our help. We could not have done it without her guidance.
— Esther Macner, Get Jewish Divorce Justice
I’ve been attending quite a few webinars and social media trainings lately, and I enjoyed yours the most!
— Maryam Saleemi, New Ground: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change
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