Passover

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Episode 40: Rachel Sharansky Danziger: Let My Story Go

Rachel Sharansky Danziger’s connection to the Exodus story is personal. Her parents, Natan and Avital Sharansky, were born in the Soviet Union. Natan spent nine years in a Soviet prison after he was arrested for his political activism in 1977. Avital led an international campaign to pressure the Soviet regime to release her husband and other Jewish refusniks. In this episode, Rachel discusses the way her family celebrated Passover and shares what she learned from the Hagaddah about passing her family's liberation story down to her children.

Mixed-media landscape

The Promise of the Land: An Interview with Rabbi Ellen Bernstein

Catherine Bell

Rabbi Ellen Bernstein talks about Jewish ecology and her environment-focused Passover haggadah, The Promise of the Land.

Topics: Activism, Passover
Close-up of a parsley plant.

Parsing the Meaning of Parsley

Ella Plotkin-Oren

Parsley reminds me of my Judaism.

Topics: Activism, Food, Passover
A seder plate with the six traditional items and an orange.

The Orange on the Seder Plate

Ellanora Lerner

There are a few stories that you may have heard about the orange on the seder plate.

Israeli Flags in Jerusalem

Next Year in Jerusalem

Lisa Batya Feld

A rabbinical student studying in Israel explores how it feels to say “Next Year in Jerusalem” this year, knowing that next year she won’t be there.

Topics: Passover, Zionism
Flourless Chocolate Cake

How to Pull Off Passover

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

A first-time Seder host shares her journey to prep for Passover, and a recipe for flourless chocolate cake with ganache.

Topics: Recipes, Passover
Red Rope Stock Image

Ritual and Obsessions

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

“This is the part of your brain that holds your obsessive-compulsive disorder,” she said, her tone firm. “We can fray this cord, but we can’t just break it.” ... I imagined a dark red cable, floating somewhere in the space between my ears, demanding my attention every waking moment of the day. In light of Passover approaching, it seemed particularly cruel that I found myself struggling with the concept of freedom.

Composite Image of the Book of Miriam by Ellen Frankel

The Five Books of Miriam

Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler

At the root of The Five Books of Miriam is our great cultural urge as Jewish people—a desire to question, to be in a constant dialogue with God, with ourselves, and with each other.

Final Plating Photo For Kuku

Vegetarian Kuku for Passover

Lisa Yelsey

I offer a nutritious, delicious dinner recipe to stave off the Passover madness. It is easily made parve, so you can have it with your meat or dairy meals. It works great for large or small seder gatherings, and with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Kuku is an Iranian/Persian egg dish that I would describe as frittata-like.

Topics: Recipes, Passover
Bella Abzug at Rally to Impeach Nixon

Justice You Shall Pursue

Caroline Kubzansky

Jews have a particular responsibility to ensure proper use of presidential power.

Topics: Passover, Law
Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup Final

Vegetarian Matzoh Ball Soup

Lisa Yelsey

I have been a vegetarian for about seven years now, and one of the only foods I regret giving up is good matzoh ball soup. My mom has made it for holidays my whole life, and I miss it. Nothing’s better than eating matzoh ball soup, loaded with chicken and vegetables, and sitting with your family during the holidays.

Topics: Recipes, Passover
Charoset Meringue Cookies

Charoset-Inspired Meringue Cookies

Lisa Yelsey

Hi, everyone!! Passover is fast approaching, and if you are anything like me, you are dreading Passover Madness (that’s when you’ve been keeping kosher for Passover totally fine for four or five days and suddenly you’re furious at everyone and everything in your life).

Topics: Passover
Miriam Holding a Timbrel

The Forgotten Sister: Miriam

Madisen Siegel

Miriam is one of many strong women described in the Jewish texts, and is far too often forgotten when we retell our stories. Two stories stand out to me in illustrating that Miriam is a truly wise and courageous woman: when Miriam saves her brother Moses in his youth, and when she leads the Jewish people in celebration after they successfully cross the Red Sea to safety. 

Topics: Feminism, Passover, Bible
Timbrel

Leading with Timbrels: Another Side to the Passover Story

Molly Pifko

Every year, my temple holds a women’s seder on the second night of Passover. This ritual has always been important to me because throughout my Jewish education, I have clung to stories as the basis for my learning. 

Jewish Diversity and Innovation: The View from the Kitchen

Discover how recipes can tell stories about Jewish history and its ever-changing rich cultural diversity.

The American Jewess on Liberation and Freedom

Investigate what it means for American Jews to celebrate Passover and the Fourth of July in the context of religious and national freedom, by reading an editorial from the April 1897 issue of The American Jewess.

Miriam in the Desert

Consider Miriam’s experience of exile and investigate the parallels between her story and moments of alienation and isolation in your own life.

Passover Seder Table

Celebrating Women’s Seders vs. Celebrating Women at the Seder

Rabbi Leah Berkowitz

I have always found women’s seders perplexing, ever since my mother first dragged me to one when I was a teenager. To me, Passover is a family holiday, and it felt wrong to exclude half of our family from the celebration. I also didn’t understand why, instead of telling the story of the Exodus, we toasted Bella Abzug and Henrietta Szold.

Topics: Passover

Episode 3: People of the Cookbook

“Every cuisine tells a story,” writes Claudia Roden in the Book of Jewish Food. “Jewish food tells the story of an uprooted, migrating people and their vanished worlds.” Claudia’s childhood world vanished when the Jewish community was forced out of Egypt in the 1950s. Her quest to collect family recipes led to a celebrated career as a cookbook author. But Claudia writes more than recipes—she traces the DNA of cuisine. In this Passover edition, Claudia Roden talks about Passover cooking, her childhood in Egypt, and what makes Jewish food Jewish.

Seder Plate

How and Why We Remember

Yana Kozukhin

The people of a certain culture devote an entire week of each year to commemorating one of the worst parts of their history. They taste bitter things to appreciate the suffering of their ancestors. They consciously abstain from consuming bread to remind themselves what was eatenor rather, what was not eaten. They mourn the deaths of their ancient oppressors. They drink the metaphorical tears of their forefathers and foremothers. And year after year after year, they gather around tables to recount the suffering and the humiliation and the turmoil of their own people.

New Year Postcard

Propelled into the New Year

Deborah Rubin Fields

Early in the 20th century, Jewish New Year card manufacturers began embellishing their cards with airplanes. They did so for three interrelated reasons: to call attention to the thrilling, modern invention of the airplane, to draw an analogy between the New Year and this new means of travel, and to use the airplane to highlight the changing status of women.

Lilly Rivlin

Lilly Rivlin has used her skills as a historian and documentary filmmaker to capture Jewish history in the making.
Eliana Melmed with her Two Great-Grandmothers

The Rebel Women of Passover

Eliana Melmed

My grandfather starts every Pesach Seder with the same opening lines. He talks about how he can remember being at the Seder table with his grandfather, who was once at a Seder table with his grandfather, and if you follow the generations back only a few more times you are right back at the original Pesach celebration, the escape from Egypt. These few words add so much meaning to my Pesach experience; I feel a direct relation to the Jews who escaped slavery so long ago. But while I love being able to draw this connection to the ancient past, something has always struck me about this tale: how come women are not part of this story of family linkage?

Topics: Feminism, Passover

Shirley Cohen Steinberg

Shirley Cohen Steinberg helped make the Jewish holidays fun and interactive for children with her Holiday Music Box albums, featuring “One Morning” (popularly known as the Passover “Frog Song”).

Tamar De Sola Pool

Lifelong Zionist Tamar de Sola Pool found a myriad of ways to serve during WWII, from running Hadassah to rescuing Jewish children.
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