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Welcome back to Passover – mid-Pandemic. This night, different from so many previous Passover nights we’ve known, invites us to keep showing up, committed to continuity, connection, and care. In the midst of grave uncertainty, isolation, illness and loss, we gather online to retell our sacred journey as a people in constant formation.
The ancient Exodus saga and our contemporary dire straits inform each other and help us transform this night into a sacred, stubborn, and delicious celebration.
Sayder includes highlights from the Passover Haggadah, links to readings, songs and activities, simple directions for the Sayder host and interactive cues for all participants.
Sayder is everybody-friendly—designed for all varieties of Jew/ish—the people we live and love with, friends and guests. Sayder uses Lab/Shul’s God-Optional poetic and non-gendered translations of the traditional liturgy. Choose your own adventure, customize your metaphors and focus on what matters most to you tonight—with joy.
We’ve got this. Welcome to Sayder.
Estimated Length: 90-120 min (including dinner)
Ages: 13+ (with engaging kid friendly options)
INGREDIENTS (Per participating household)
• Printed or digital Sayders • Seder plate + add-ons (see below)
• 2 candles + matches (consider adding a yahrzeit/memorial candle)
• Elijah’s Cup + Miriam’s Cup (these can be regular wine/water glasses)
• Wine/juice glass per participant (go fancy)
• Water bowls or hand sanitizer + towels • Matza (at least 3 pieces)
• A bowl of salt water
• Appetizers, spring style (karpas can be anything from veggies to sushi)
• Festive dinner
• Computer/tablet/phone (charged up)
SEDER PLATE 2021
“Oh no! I don’t have a seder plate!” No worries. Get a big plate. Put on it:
• Roasted egg (hard boiled is fine)
• Karpas (green leafy veggies—parsley’s a classic)
• Maror (bitter herb—usually horseradish)
• Lamb’s bone (go vegan: use a beet for “blood”)
• Charoset (mythic mortar—mix chopped fruit, nuts, spices, and sweet wine)
• Optional social justice-minded additions include an orange (for LGBTQ+ inclusion), a lock & key (for those currently enslaved and incarcerated), a tomato (for our farmworkers), and more.
• Covid-19 add-on: What will you add to your Seder plate this year? (Mask, or Purel, anyone?)
Mazel tov! You’re the host of this Passover like no other. Thank you for taking on a
sacred task. Here’s what you need to make this ritual night enjoyable, participatory,
meaningful and memorable.
1. Get ingredients ready. Check list and edit/add as needed.
2. Communicate the Zoom links, ingredients list, and any welcome note or
directions to all participants.
3. Make sure computers/tablets/phones are charged or plugged in.
4. New to Zoom? There’s a great visual tutorial here. You may want to test your
Zoom link with all participants prior to the start of Sayder. Allow time for
5. As host, part of your role is to guide your guests through this ritual. That means
you get to play the part of EmCee, assign roles and readings, keep the flow, and
keep track of time.
6. Partner up. Get a responsible participant to take on co-hosting roles to help
welcome people, mute/unmute, split into breakout groups if needed, share
7. There are 4 Questions, 4 Children, and 4 Cups of Wine for Seder. So we’ve got 4
Categories to guide you through this sayder:
• DO is an action, whether washing hands or eating matzah ball soup.
(Tip: Tell your guests what’s about to happen and invite them to take part if
• SAY is a thought, a blessing, a piece of inspiration to read aloud.
(Tip: Lead & Read or delegate ahead.)
• UNMUTE is a chance for discussion: a worthy question to ask of one another.
(Tip: Give people an idea of how much time they should share.)
• SING is, well, what’s a Seder without a few great songs?
(Tip: It’s hard to sing together on Zoom because of lag, so either pick a soloist
or embrace the cacophony!)
Sample Introduction by Sayder Host to get things started:
Welcome to Sayder.
This is a great time to check that you’re muted and that you can see and hear me. We will unmute often—don't worry.
To see everyone, hit “gallery view” in the top right corner of your Zoom screen. Or you can hit “speaker view” and you’ll just see the person talking.
Do you have everything you need for tonight? Grab your copy of “Sayder,” and review the list of ingredients.
Now take a deep breath, smile at someone on a screen, and let’s make this night different, special and meaningful to us all. Here we go!
ADD YOUR OWN CLIP HERE
A breath: in the Presence of the Infinite, we pause with gratitude, honoring all the journeys that have brought us to the here and now.
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu ruach ha’olam shehecheyanu v’ki’manu, v’higianu laz’man hazeh
DO: Honor the losses of this past year: Invite guests to name who’s missing, or to take a minute in silence in honor of the empty chairs. Showcase the Seder plate(s). Compare notes! Anybody have a new addition? Now’s the time to share.
Invite our invisible prophets to Seder: Pour a glass of wine for Elijah and a glass of water for Miriam.
Fill your own glasses with juice or wine.
SAY: Passover is an exercise in collective optimism, which is another word for faith. Faith is not necessarily the same thing as believing in a God with a muscular arm and outstretched fingers. Faith can be a commitment to the unprovable proposition that it’s worth the struggle to cross the next impossible barrier, to seek meaning in our lives, to try, try again and do justly and build another peace. We raise the cup, we rephrase our enslavement and liberation, we sing, turning disaster into dramaturgy.
– Anita Diamant
SAY: Tonight we ask four new questions. Each question is also a chance for a toast as we raise our glasses in blessing each other. The first one is about what we are grateful for.
UNMUTE: FIRST QUESTION: MA NISHTANA מה נשתנה
How are we different?
How is this night different than all other nights?
SAY: On this Passover night we raise our first glass of blessing and ask: What significant change has occurred in your personal life since this time last year? Name one meaningful way in which you’ve grown or changed this past year? Or ask: How has the world
changed this past year, for better or for worse?
DO: Take turns sharing names if required + share your responses. Keep it brief!
You can use the chat.
DO: Lift your glass!
A toast: in the Presence of the Infinite, we savor the blessing of transformation: vine to wine.
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheynu ruach ha’olam bore p’ri hagafen
ADD YOUR OWN CLIP HERE
SAY: We are humans relearning to wash our hands.
Washing our hands is an act of love
Washing our hands is an act of care
Washing our hands helps us return to ourselves by
washing away what does not serve.
– Dori Midnight
DO: Wash your hands. Slowly.
(Use water bowls, wet towels, or hand sanitizer. Soap not ritually required
here. Towels will be handy)
SAY: We invite to our Seder Miriam the Prophetess who saved her baby brother Moses from drowning in the waters of the Nile, showing us, along with the Egyptian Princess, how to be allies. We sing the song of liberation she taught us, thank her for nourishing our thirst in the wilderness and for inspiring this healing blessing that is also sung. May we all be our siblings’ keepers always. We raise this Cup of Miriam as we honor the water of life.
ADD YOUR OWN CLIP HERE
ADD YOUR OWN CLIP HERE
SAY: Yachatz in Hebrew means ‘split in half.’ Afikoman is Greek for Dessert. This is a ritual in two parts. One of
us will now split a matza into two, hiding one half for another to find, as we spend this night seeking our
hidden truths. When it’s time for dessert, the Afikoman must be revealed for Sayder to conclude.
DO: Take 3 pieces of matzah, pull out the middle one, and snap it in half. The larger piece is your afikomen.
How to hide it?
• If you have multiple people at your seder, hide the matzah during dinner so people (kids!) can search for it. The winner gets a prize. (Get creative!)
• You can also hide the Afikoman online! During dinner, snap a photo of the area where you’ve hid it and post it somewhere clever. Facebook? Instagram?
Twitter? Let your diligent participants figure it out.
SAY: Try this. As we split and hide the Matza, let’s come up with a list of organizations that are helping make a safer, happier, healthier, freer world. Each participant can come up with one suggestion. Let’s compile a list (use the chat box to type your suggestion) and we’ll get back to this when it’s time to reveal the Afikoman and wrap up the night.
Click here to watch drag queens Ona Louise and Golide Lox introduce Yachatz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXZwerRxzE0
ADD YOUR OWN CLIP HERE
SAY: Magid means ‘storytelling’ this is when we get to focus on the story of the Exodus from Egypt—Moses, Plagues, and all. In every generation we retell this epic story of liberation as though we were actually there. Every year we make the seder our own, linking past and present, nostalgia and the news. We make new meaning of our myths and stories, seeking to make some sense of our reality and to build a better world for the future. Tonight we tell the story using any or all of these options.
SING: The Four Questions (traditionally sung by the youngest person at the seder table)
Prefer to listen? Here’s a cute kid singing for you, or there’s Four Questioncappella.
Add one or two questions of your own.
DO: Share screen (check out the middle green button on bottom of your Zoom
screen) to watch these short videos, or read aloud selected texts:
Kids: Animated Passover Story in 10 Scenes (3:30 minutes)
Families: Act it out with ShirLaLa’s interactive Passover story script
Adults: DIY maggid—use the traditional text from here, more creative options
here, or download a seder supplement that ties the Magid to the refugee
crisis, hunger, human justice, or earth justice.
Poets: Maggid—poem by Marge Piercy
Queer it Up with this Broadway version of the story
DO: Raise up your Matza—fill the screen!
We are raising this bread of affliction,
eaten by our ancestors when they were enslaved in
the narrow place, the land of Egypt.
May all who are hungry have enough to eat. Let all
who are in need, come and “passover” with us.
This year, we are here.
Next year, in our homelands of promise.
This year, we are still enslaved.
Next year, we yearn to be free
Ha lach’ma anya di achalu
av’hatana b’ar’a d’mitzrayim.
Kol dich’fin yeitei v’yeichol,
kol ditz’rich yeitei v’yif’sach.
Hashata ha’cha l’shanah ha’ba’ah
l’shanah ha’ba’ah b’nei chorin