HaKol Baseder Hag­gadah Kit

Michael Toben and Mitch Heifetz
  • Review
By – June 12, 2013

HaKol Baseders title starts you off on a jour­ney. It’s a clever play on words mean­ing every­thing you need for the seder” but also imply­ing a sim­i­lar phrase which means every­thing is just great.” It sets the tone for a fun, rich, infor­ma­tion-filled seder expe­ri­ence sure to enhance the mean­ing and celebra­tion of the hol­i­day. The kit is chock-full of sur­pris­es. The basis, of course is a hag­gadah, soft-cov­ered but beau­ti­ful­ly illus­trat­ed as well as clear­ly and acces­si­bly trans­lat­ed. The hag­gadah includes a thought-pro­vok­ing and edu­ca­tion­al intro­duc­tion focus­ing on putting the seder into the con­text of Jew­ish his­to­ry and present times. It ends with the Hatik­va, remind­ing us of the cen­tral­i­ty of Israel to our past, present and future. There are a num­ber of bonus sur­pris­es in the pack­et, as well: a set of six small, illus­trat­ed bir­chon­im (Grace After Meals book­lets) and a wine bot­tle stop­per to use at the seder or for the remain­der of the holiday. 

But the heart of the kit, the unusu­al piece that caus­es it to stand out from the crowd, is a two-part hol­i­day prepa­ra­tion guide which will enable a fam­i­ly, espe­cial­ly if there are chil­dren involved, to under­stand what hap­pens at the seder table on a deep­er lev­el than many Passover prepa­ra­tion mate­ri­als pro­vide. There is a 120 page book­let of activ­i­ties and games, each of which is designed to enhance under­stand­ing of a spe­cif­ic seder-relat­ed event in Jew­ish his­to­ry or to give a new per­spec­tive on the laws and cus­toms of the seder, itself. The book­let is accom­pa­nied by a CD which con­tains the all the mate­r­i­al need­ed to engage in the activ­i­ties. Includ­ed in the book­let and CD: a role-play­ing and pan­tomime game for Humor­ing and Under­stand­ing the Wicked Son”; a check­list” game for the things one needs to pre­pare for the seder, help­ing to make the advance prepa­ra­tions a fun expe­ri­ence in itself; sug­ges­tions for cre­ative poems to be writ­ten by chil­dren and recit­ed at the seder; word games galore; pic­ture puz­zle games; a maze which can be traced with a fin­ger to help” the Jews find and cross the Red Sea; activ­i­ties relat­ed to the tra­di­tion­al seder songs…I could go on but there are sev­enty activ­i­ties! No fam­i­ly can pos­si­bly use all sev­en­ty sug­ges­tions in any giv­en year, so there are new sources of learn­ing and enjoy­ment at your fin­ger­tips for years and years to come. Edu­ca­tors agree that advance prepa­ra­tion for a seder is what it’s all about. Prepar­ing ahead of time using this book­let and CD will add a rich and vital dimen­sion to any family’s seder, mak­ing the hol­i­day a chag sameach long to be remem­bered. Rec­om­mend­ed for all ages.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

Discussion Questions