Celebrating Passover with Shalom Sesame: Passover Around the World
Passover, one of the most widely-celebrated Jewish holidays, commemorates the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt during the spring month of Nisan. The rituals and customs of this holiday connect to spring, renewal, and freedom. Shalom Sesame segments showcase holiday preparations and customs, the biblical Passover story, and Hebrew words and phrases related to Passover. Viewers meet families whose holiday traditions originate in Ethiopia and Morocco, offering a glimpse into the diversity of the Jewish people.
Together with your children, watch the Shalom Sesame videos below to learn about how Passover is celebrated in other cultures. Then try some of the discussion ideas and activities below recommended by Reform Jewish educators to further extend the lessons learned in the videos. If you wish, share your experiences and ideas in the comments sections below!
Traditions come in all shapes and sizes. There's no "right" way to practice a tradition – in fact, there are often many different interpretations of laws, stories, and practices in Judaism, something that makes it so special. Watch the video below, “Celebrate the End of Passover,” with your children and ask them to identify the similarities and differences between how the Moroccan family celebrates Passover and how your family celebrates Passover. Why do different families adopt different practices? What is something special about how your family celebrates different holidays?
Preparations in different cultures. In the videos below, Khalikidan’s family is from Ethiopia and Lior’s family is from Morocco. How do their families prepare for holidays? How does your family prepare for Passover together? What would you like to know about Khalikidan and her family? Lior’s family celebrates the Mimouna; if you could go to a Mimouna celebration, what would you want to try? Where is your family from? Do you know Jewish people from other places?
Family stories and customs. At the seder, Khalikidan's grandmother tells the story of the family's journey from Ethiopia to Israel. It reminds Khalikidan of the Jewish people’s journey from Egypt. Share stories with your children of how your family came to live in your city. Discuss similarities between these journeys and the exodus from Egypt.
Keeping tradition alive. As adults, we hold on tight to the memories of the family rituals and traditions that we experienced growing up, and now it's our turn to pass those down to the next generation. Whether it means using a traditional family recipe that's been handed over from kitchen to kitchen, or celebrating a special ritual like Mimouna, the sweets-filled Moroccan tradition that honors the end of Passover, thanks to the smallest members of your family, these memories don't have to stop with you.
Have a Mimouna celebration! Mimouna is unique to a particular group of Jews but that doesn't mean you can't share the fun! When Passover is over, you can have a "Spring is Here – Passover is Over" celebration at home. Lior's Mimouna included guests, special dress, holiday foods, music and dance. Think about what foods to cook, what music to play, and special activities like dancing. If you know someone who comes from Morocco, invite them to share more about Moroccan culture with your family.
Khalikidan’s Passover Seder
Khalikidan and her family came to Israel from Ethiopia. Join her family for a Passover seder, and share Khalikidan's excitement in reciting the four questions.
Join Lior and her family as they celebrate the end of Passover with the special Moroccan celebration called Mimouna—filled with exciting storytelling, elaborate costumes, and some yummy foods.
For more Shalom Sesame videos, activities, and other materials, visit our friends at Shalomsesame.org.