Passover in Pop Culture

January 17 , 2018
Passover in Pop Culture
Posted by Haggadot
"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.

How many ways can you ask four questions?

April 5 , 2012
How many ways can you ask four questions?
Posted by Haggadot

On you can find the four questions in many languages, from Croatian to French. Contributors have also shared a wide variety of alternative ways in

which the four questions might be asked. Some have even taken it a step further and added a 5th question. This section of the Seder is a great point for some discussion

around the table. Here are a few clips that can help get the conversation going:

Ma Nishtanah Remembered

Why is this night different?

4 Quotes and 4 Questions

Rhyming Haggadah Four Questions

Four Discussion Questions

Four Questions for Ourselves




April 4 , 2012
Posted by Haggadot

It’s not the only thing (thankfully!) that we eat at Passover, but there is no question that matzah is THE food of the holiday. Matzah, also known as “the bread of affliction,” is the big symbol at the Seder table. We hold it up in the air for acknowledgement and are required to eat a portion of it…we even hide a piece for the children to find.

There are all types of matzah too; egg matzah, whole wheat matzah, thin matzah, and of course, shmurah matzah. The latter is matzah that has been been hand-made and guarded from start to finish to ensure that it follows the most stringent laws of observance. Whether you spell it matzo or matzah, you can enjoy some of our favorite clips about it:

Never before seen DIY Matzoh Baking

A Moroccan Tradition of Passing the Matzah

Matzah Eating Meditation

If you want to take it a step further, you can always make your own matzah!

Make Your Own Seder Plate

March 28 , 2012
Make Your Own Seder Plate
Posted by Rita
Green Capiz bowls for an elegant and creative Seder plate.

Make Your Own Seder Plate

Passover is less than two weeks away. (How did that happen—wasn't it just Purim)?!

If you're hosting a Seder at your house and want to try something new for a Seder plate you can easily put one together with dishes and platters found at stores you might not expect to find items for a Seder plate! Here's what I mean...

One Seder plate was put together with small bowls I found at Pier One Imports for only $1.50 each and they are sitting on a white platter from Crate and Barrel ($11.95). At $20.95 this is so affordable, you can probably put together several of these plates to use on a long table if you are having a lot of guests.

You can’t go wrong with classic white! Not only does white go with everything but the simple clean look gives a fresh feel to the Seder table.

Here's another look...
I used small green Capiz bowls which have a beautiful, shimmery finish like the inside of a sea shell and makes for an elegant Seder plate. These bowls are from Crate and Barrel and they were $2.95 each. They are sitting on a white square Capiz Shell place mat ($16.95). For a total of $34.65 it’s still an affordable Seder plate.

There are so many other dishes that could also work for a Seder plate—small plates shaped like leaves would be lovely, or maybe little square tapas plates. If you live near a Chinatown or an Oriental kitchen supply store, pretty small dishes used for soy and dipping sauces would be ideal.

Remember, any shape can be used…as the key to a kosher Seder plate is the placement of each dish.

More from the Design Megillah here:

Rita Milos Brownstein is the author of two books, Jewish Holiday Style and Jewish Weddings (Simon & Schuster) and speaks at events around the country showing women how to beautify the Jewish holidays. She has worked as an art director for several well-known publications such as House Beautiful and Good Housekeeping magazine. She currently has a home decorating business in Connecticut and blogs at where she dreams up lots of great ideas for all the Jewish holidays.

Freedom, Faith, and Fellowship: A Passover Pilgrimage

March 22 , 2012
Freedom, Faith, and Fellowship: A Passover Pilgrimage
Posted by Haggadot

Why is this pilgrimage different from all other pilgrimages?

A pilgrimage for the Passover holiday is nothing new. For generations, the Jewish people have ventured to the Temple in Jerusalem, from far flung places, to offer and partake of the Pesach offering with other sojourners. However, the Department of Rabbinic Services at the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) has taken this traditional journey and placed it into a new Southern context.

Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom, celebrates the liberation of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. The traditional meal, where the story of Passover is shared along with rituals, readings, songs, and food, is called a seder. Seders celebrate not only freedom from bondage, but also freedom from oppression of all stripes, and have thus become a wonderful opportunity for fellowship within the Jewish community and beyond, as a popular interfaith experience: a shared communal celebration of freedom and friendship.

On this second annual ISJL Passover Pilgrimage, the ISJL’s Director of Rabbinic Services, Rabbi Marshal Klaven, will visit eight communities in four states, over the course of fifteen days. His stops will include Jackson, Mississippi (St. Philips Episcopal Church, March 29); Hattiesburg, Mississippi (Our Home Universalist Unitarian Church, April 1); Vicksburg, MS (Anshe Chesed, April 6); Natchez, MS (Congregation B’nai Israel, April 7); Tutwiler, MS (CCA-Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, April 8); Auburn, AL (Beth Shalom Congregation, April 10); Crossville, TN (Upper Cumberland Jewish Community, April 11); Rome, GA (Rodeph Shalom, April 12); Fayetteville, GA (Congregation B’nai Israel, April 13); and Dahlonega, GA (Shalom B’Harim, April 14).

As these congregations demonstrate one of the enduring values of the Festival of Freedom by opening their doors to the neighbor and visitor alike, the ISJL’s itinerant program will remind them that no matter how small they may be or how remote from the larger Jewish world they may feel, they are not alone.

The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) provides educational and rabbinic services to Southern Jewish communities, preserves the rich history of the Southern Jewish Experience, and offers community engagement opportunities and inclusive cultural programming throughout the organization’s thirteen-state region.

To learn more about the Passover Pilgrimage, the ISJL and its programs, visit, call 601-362-6357, or find the organization at 



Let All Who are Hungry Come and Eat!

March 1 , 2012
Let All Who are Hungry Come and Eat!
Posted by Haggadot


At the start of the Seder, in our Haggadah, we declare that those who are hungry and in need should join us and eat. This is a wonderful gesture, but most times seems just that, a symbolic gesture…or in the least, very short notice!

How many Seders have you been to where strangers were invited as guests?

There are often times visitors who might be in town over the holiday. Perhaps someone who is on his/her own for the first time? Or a college student who can’t make the trip home?

Having new people join the holiday guest list brings new perspectives to the table and helps to keep the conversation lively. Maybe this is the year to reach out and invite those “strangers” to be guests at the Seder table - with a little advance notice, of course.




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