Monday night, Jewish families around the country sat down for the usual first night Passover seder, complete with 4 cups of wine, bitter herbs, a shank bone and parsley with salt water. But the day before, a group of Massachusetts and Rhode Island middle-schoolers sat down with BBYO to have a different kind of seder. At this seder, the wine was chocolate milk, the bitter herbs were switched out with dark chocolate, the shank bone swapped with kit-kat bars, and the parsley with salt water were traded in for strawberries and chocolate sauce.
The students were empowered to engage with the Passover seder in a fun and creative way. Not only was the whole seder made out of chocolate, but also included a chance for them to meet new friends and work in teams to create skits about the Passover story, the 4 questions, and the ten plagues. Eliana Stein, of Warwick, RI said: “I’ve been to a lot of seders, but this was my first time doing it with chocolate. My favorite part of seeing old friends, and making new ones.” Eliana was part of the group acting out the Dayeinu section of the seder, which she enjoyed.
The afternoon featured other great activities such as an afikomen hunt and Passover art on their paper plates using chocolate and other foods on the table.
Nettie Leepson of North Kingstown, RI said “My favorite part of the event was when we made pictures with the chocolate. This was my first time at a chocolate seder, and I had fun!” The whole goal of the event was to help reinforce what is taught in Hebrew school, but through a different lens. By making Jewish education fun and social, it gets the kids more excited about their heritage than ever before.
The BBYO Connect (6th-8th grade program) is growing in this area and they are going to help change the way Jewish teens think about their religion by engaging them in more non-traditional ways. As a BBYO alumna that went through both BBYO Connect and the BBYO High School level program, I can certainly say that the way I look at Jewish education will never be the same and that it made my connection to and love of Judaism stronger.
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences. To learn more, check out: www.bbyo.org
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