Passover – the very word evokes powerful memories of families gathering around the table, recounting the miracles and wonders of the exodus from Egypt. Every family has its traditions but every year, every family yearns to have something new for the holiday — a new article of clothing, perhaps, like a UCONN Championship kippa for the discerning male or a beautiful hand painted silk scarf from Israel for the lady of the house.
For the children and children at heart, to enhance the seder experience, decorate the table with “plagues.” From plague bags to bugs with wiggle eyes and frogs that do back flips, learning can be fun and new traditions can be created. Also new this year is a 100-piece seder plate jig saw puzzle.
Sesame Workshop, the company that produces Shalom Sesame, came out with their newest offering: “It’s Passover, Grover.” How can you celebrate Passover without horseradish?? Find out in this cute DVD featuring familiar characters from the popular series plus famous live stars.
On a more serious note, Cantor Paul Zim , whose CD’s have been perennial holiday staples for years in helping children and adults learn and re-learn favorite melodies, has come out with a brand new CD for the season. “Let’s Make A Seder,” is a how-to guide for conducting a seder. It is everything a contemporary family needs and highlights how to “sing” the seder at home. This joins his ever- growing Passover collection, including “Seder Nights” for young children, and “Passover- Seder-Sing- A- Long” for the whole family.
Real Complete Party from David and the High Spirit has a new revised “Real Complete Passover Seder” on CD. With it comes the capability to print out songs, recipes and Haggadahs off the computer.
For the family, “Dayenu” is a relatively new simplified Haggadah for families with young children, colorfully illustrated and mostly in English (Ktav Publishing). It is available with or without a CD.
The famous “SZYK Haggadah,” illustrated by Arthur Szyk (1894-1951)is once again available and has been reprinted in a large paperback format (Abrams).
And finally, to add some whimsy, “300 Ways to Ask the Four Questions,” by Murray Spiegel and Rickey Stein (Haggadahs R Us) will give the youngest a chance to ask the 4 Questions in Klingon or Zulu and has an accompanying CD/DVD and suggestions to enrich the Seder with puzzles and games.
However you choose to celebrate, Chag Pesach Kasher V’Sameach!
Marla Cohen is assistant manager of The Judaica Store in West Hartford.