The cool Haggadah kit that came in the mail today

Such a cool thing came in the mail at work today – “Hakol Baseder: A Treasury of Activities for the Passover Seder” by Mitch Heifetz and Michael Toben.

The kit includes a Haggadah, six Birkat Hamazon booklets, a wine opener, a book and a CD.

41W67+ek7oL._SS400_[1]The book, “A Treasury of Activities for the Passover Seder,” includes a variety of activities, songs, games and facts to help seder participants get more involved and a CD has the materials needed for the activities.

The “Interactive Experiential Haggadah,” published by Gefen Publishing House in conjunction with Jewish National Fund  and World Bnei Akiva, includes a letter of endorsement from Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and there’s also a memorial to Rabbi Mitch Heifetz, one of the authors, who died before the book was published.

The Jewish Week in New York told the story behind the Haggadah in its Passover issue: The authors were longtime friends who had made aliyah decades earlier and had collaborated on educational materials for a few Jewish holidays. About seven years ago, Rabbi Heifetz was sick with a cancer relapse and Toben visited him with the idea to create their own Haggadah with accompanying family activities. According to the article, “Toben visited Rabbi Heifetz on the kibbutz biweekly to discuss ideas for the Haggadah and activity booklet, and he completed the writing after the rabbi died, at 61, in 2007.”

Included are experiential activities, pantomimes, structured debate and quizzes, each labeled for appropriate age levels:  A for adults,  B for adolescents and young adults and C for children.

What a beautiful testament to friendship. Although there are only a few more days until Passover begins – and there’s still lots of cleaning, shopping and cooking to do between now and then  – looking through this book for ideas for our seder is a welcome  addition to my Passover to-do list.

Hope your holiday preparations are going well  and may you have a happy and meaningful Passover!

Community Passover seders

For those who are still making plans for the upcoming seders, here are some places that are offering community seders. Reservation deadlines are coming up next week so be sure to check them out soon!

First night: Monday, March 25

Beth El Congregation

Chabad of Arizona

Chabad of Fountain Hills

Chabad of the East Valley

Chabad of Gilbert

Chabad of Mesa

Chabad of North Phoenix

Chabad of the Northwest Valley

Chabad of Scottsdale

Temple Beth Shalom in Sun City

Second night: Tuesday, March 26

Chabad of Arizona

Chabad of the Northwest Valley

Chabad of Scottsdale

Congregation Beth Israel

Congregation Beth Chaverim: Sun City West location. Catered by Chompie’s and led by Rabbi Irwin Wiener. Reservations by March 15. For details, call 623-546-4672.

Congregation Merkaz Ha-Iyr

Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley

L’Chaim!: Seder for young professionals (under age 35)

Or Adam Congregation

Temple Solel

Saturday, March 30

 Heichal Baoranim in Flagstaff