Jew­ish Text

Wel­come to the Seder: A Passover Hag­gadah for Everyone

Rab­bi Ker­ry M. Olitzky; Rinat Gilboa, illus.
  • Review
By – February 21, 2018

Wel­come to the Seder: A Passover Hag­gadah for Every­one by Rab­bi Ker­ry M. Olitzky; Rinat Gilboa, illus. | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

This Passover hag­gadah intro­duces the seder to fam­i­lies in a wel­com­ing, edu­ca­tion­al man­ner eas­i­ly under­stood by all ages. It includes quotes by famous peo­ple, poet­ry, tra­di­tion­al and mod­ern cus­toms, ideas for adapt­ing the seder so that it feels per­son­al and unique, and both trans­la­tions and translit­er­a­tions of the includ­ed bless­ings. This book has all the ele­ments need­ed to explain this home-based hol­i­day ser­vice to those who may be intim­i­dat­ed by heav­ier or more for­eign ver­sions, yet wish to come away with a sub­stan­tive expe­ri­ence in which they deeply feel the hol­i­day’s over­ar­ch­ing theme of freedom. 

The seder, as pre­sent­ed here, is great­ly abridged but leaves plen­ty of room for addi­tion­al dis­cus­sion, per­fect for those who are explor­ing new ways to cel­e­brate the hol­i­day or are try­ing out this obser­vance for the first time. Expla­na­tions through­out are sim­ply and clear­ly stat­ed. Par­al­lel ideas from oth­er reli­gions are contrasted.

The accom­pa­ny­ing col­or art is live­ly and appeal­ing, show­ing Jews of all col­ors (includ­ing blue) sit­ting around a seder table, spring themes, and vignettes from Jew­ish his­to­ry, fan­ci­ful­ly imag­ined, which seem to make the Jews’ escape from slav­ery in Egypt come alive with meaning. 

Some recipes, includ­ing one for matzah, are included.

Rec­om­mend­ed for fam­i­lies and groups of friends of 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