The Seder, which centers around the mitzvah of teaching our children about the miracles of the Exodus, is the ultimate multi-generational experience—something we love to share with our siblings, parents and grandparents.

This year, many families are struggling with the challenge of including relatives who will not be able to celebrate with us in person. While we don’t use electronic devices during the holiday and the Passover mitzahs can only be done after nightfall, there are still ways to connect with family and loved ones beforehand!

We recommend that you host a pre-Seder Zoom gathering. This year the actual holiday begins pretty late (after 7 p.m. in NYC!), so you will have enough time to shmooze, sing, and socialize.

This is the time for grandchildren to show Bubby and Zaidy their hand-made haggadahs (made at home, this year), show off how well they know the Four Questions (learned online), and listen as Grandma and Grandpa share Seder insights and perhaps a memory or two of Seders during challenging times in the past.

You can keep the stream going until a few minutes before candle-lighting time, 18 minutes before sunset (click here for the exact time).

Some tips:

  • Set the table early, so that you can show Sabba and Savta what it’s going to look like.
  • Bathe and dress the kids before you start streaming so that they can be fully present (and super cute-looking) when they are on camera.
  • If you are in different time zones, make sure to start early enough so that whoever lives furthest to the east will be able to sign off before candle-lighting arrives in their time zone.
  • While the Passover mitzvahs (eating matzah and marror, drinking four cups, telling the story of Exodus) must be done after nightfall, dipping the karpas in salt-water may be symbolically done earlier, so you can do that together over Zoom.

An added bonus: Since the Seder begins after nightfall, which is way past the usual bed-time for most small children, having a pre-Seder Zoom conference will mean that the kids will be seen by their grandparents when they are not yet over-tired and kooky.

We recommend ending the pre-Seder Zoom meeting with a song. Then turn off the phone, put away the laptop, and light the holiday candles. As you do so, join hundreds of thousands of women and girls around the world praying that this pandemic end soon and that “G‑d wipe the tears off every face.”1

Then, every household can individually pray the evening services and sit down to the full Seder, drink the Four Cups, discuss the Exodus, eat matzah and bitter herbs, etc. Note that even if you said some of the texts or sang some of the songs earlier in the afternoon, you should do so again during the night.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous and happy Passover!

PS: Please share this poster and help others get into the action: