Pesach Power

 

Subject: Pesach Power

Target: Families with Children through Middle School

Time Frame: 2 Hours

Congregation: Temple Emanuel

Contributor: Ellyn Polsky, Marcia Mermelstein

Overview

This is an interactive family game to recreate an exodus and seder experience.

Goals

This program models what families can do at their own seders so that they feel confident and comfortable making their own Seder.

Objectives

  • To understand the symbols on the seder plate and to talk about their relevance today
  • To go through the rituals and some of the prayers recited at the Seder
  • To establish a general time frame in history for the Exodus
  • To experience working as a team

Target Population

Families with children through middle school

Location

A large meeting room in synagogue and on the patio outside the room

Staff and Specialists

  • There should be a facilitator (teacher or adult) at each table of eight to ten participants.  Children sit with their parents.
  • It would help to have about 4 people to go from table to table helping participants with their answers and discussions.
  • One overall leader who from time to time talks with the whole group sharing different groups’ ideas.
  • Dance specialist
  • Adults to distribute treats

Supplies

1.  On each table place a team booklet, markers, pencils, scissors, magazines with pictures of foods, game piece (we used colored frogs)

2.  A machzor

3.  A bowl with water and a towel for rachatz

4.  Salt water

5.  1 Floor game board which consists of laminated pieces of colored construction paper arranged in a hopscotch manner on the floor in the middle of the room.  The number of pieces of paper on the floor is equivalent to the number of fun pages in the booklet. Each laminated piece has a number on it that corresponds to the number on the fun sheet.  The order of the booklet follows the order of the Seder. (see attached floor plan)

6.  Blue plastic tablecloth roll to represent crossing the sea.

7.  Microphone

8.  Four long tables with the following: Items that represent the plagues as well as a bag for each table in which to place the plagues.  One can purchase these items from Dollar Stores.

9.  Matzah, maror, ingredients for charoset,  parsely, grape juice (instead of wine)

10. Hand choppers to chop the apples for the charoset

11. Treats served when they crossed the sea to include ice cream cups and honey graham crackers to represent the land of milk and honey

12. Big map of Israel

13. Israeli music  and CD player

Preparation

  • Prepare game board
  • Prepare fun sheets and collate into booklets.
  • Purchase food and tablecloth and game pieces
  • Gather together magazines and other supplies
  • Publicity
  • Hire dance specialist

Program Activites

Families gather in the arranged meeting place and find a place to sit. Teachers place themselves ensuring that every table has an adult.  The preschoolers and kindergartners sit together with their parents at one table.

All supplies are placed on each table in advance, so families can come in and listen for instructions as soon as everyone is settled.  Each table designates a recorder, a game piece mover, and someone to keep the table focused.  Tables choose their game pieces and place them on the START SQUARE.

After each fun sheet is completed, the game piece is moved to the next place on the game board, moving closer to "freedom” – the blue plastic sea. When a group completes its booklet, the group walks across the sea into “Israel” – the area where treats are distributed and Israeli dancing is taught.

Budget

Major expenses to consider are the Israeli dance teacher and refreshments.

Evaluation

Participation grew each year to indicate that the program was fun and engaging for families.  Teachers enjoyed being with their own children, as well as their students.  Feedback indicated that information gleaned from the worksheets was discussed at personal sederim.

References and Resources

Concept based on Tora Aura’s The Seder Board Game written by Joel Lurie Grishever and Vicky Kellman