Pesach, or Passover in English, is Judaism's major spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Ritually, the observance of this holiday centers around the seder (meaning "order") and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). On the eve of the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, the hagaddah (or "telling") is read, which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the seder. The Pesach seder is the only ritual meal in the Jewish calendar year for which such an order is prescribed, hence its name.
The scriptural bases for the seder are found primariliy in Exodus. Exodus 12:3-11 describes the meal of lamb, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs which the Israelites ate just prior to the Exodus. In addition, three separate passages in Exodus (12:26-7, 13:8, 13:14) and one in Deuteronomy (6:20-21) enunciate the duty of the parents to tell the story of the Exodus to their children. The seder plate contains various symbolic foods referred to in the seder itself.
The HIAS Haggadah
This printer-friendly Haggadah explores the connections between the ancient Passover story and today's refugees.
Telling the Teen Story - A guide for teens at Pesach
Download this resource to engage in a dialogue or as a starting point to lead a seder table discussion.
Four Questions on Racial Justice
As we celebrate the Jewish people’s biblical redemption from oppression, we feel the pain of those not yet redeemed. Add four more questions to connect our ancient rituals to the demands of this moment in the struggle for racial justice.
Four More Questions
Our tradition teaches us that the Passover Seder is meant to be a learning experience for children of all ages, from 1 to 100. Our questions are more important than the answers. As you prepare to sit around the Seder table, we'd like to offer you Four More Questions to help connect the past, present, and future of our Passover traditions.
Passover Social Justice Guide
Passover is rich in social justice themes. It is impossible to study the Jewish story of redemption and not feel compelled to eradicate injustice in the world today.
Celebrating Passover with Shalom Sesame: Seder Traditions
Activities and videos to help discuss and learn about Passover with your child.
4 Israel 4 Passover
A Haggadah Supplement for Passover from ARZA.
Pesach - Not the Same Everywhere
Educate yourself and others about Pesach customs in other communities around the world!