Leading a Passover Seder

The Passover Seder is designed to be participatory, full of questions, and a story told through food and rituals.  “Seder” means “order” and any Haggadah you use will walk you through each step. 

The best Seders reflect those who are participating, using the traditions, readings, and conversation starters that will make the experience meaningful to the group.  Don’t feel beholden to every word of the Haggadah (you don’t need to read each page!) and you should feel free to make it your own.  Dwell on the pieces that are interesting to you, bring up memories and spark conversation.  

Before your Seder, consider:

  • How do you want the Seder to feel? What vibe are you going for?
  • What parts of the Seder are so important to you that it wouldn’t be Seder without them? (See here for a full list of parts of a Seder.)
  • Do your family and friends have any favorite Passover traditions you can incorporate? 

Here are some resources for leading your Seder and adapting it to what you need.  Use these as ice breakers, supplemental readings, and conversation starters for your Seder:

  • Columbia/Barnard Hillel’s Haggadah supplement – A list of what you’ll need for your Seder, an outline for Seder in an hour, and lots of supplemental materials and conversation starters on a variety of topics.
  • Haggadot.com – A fantastic repository of digital Haggadot organized by theme and tools to make your own DIY Haggadot.  

If you’re leading a Seder on Zoom:

Have more questions? Want to brainstorm and talk this out with someone? Email Rabbi Leah at [email protected]