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Creating Lively Passover Seders

A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities

David Arnow, PhD

7 x 9, 416 pp, Paperback, 978-1-58023-184-8

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No more boring Seders! One chapter a year is all you need.
A guide to help you invigorate your Seder, create lively discussions, and
make personal connections with the Exodus story today.
For many people, the act of simply reading the Haggadah no longer fulfills the Passover Seder’s purpose: to help you feel as if you personally had gone out of Egypt. Too often, the ritual meal has become predictable, boring, and uninspiring.
Creating Lively Passover Seders is an innovative, interactive guide to help encourage fresh perspectives and lively dialogue. This intriguing Haggadah companion offers thematic discussion topics, text study ideas, activities, and readings that come alive in the traditional group setting of the Passover Seder. Each activity and discussion idea aims to:
• Deepen your understanding of the Haggadah
• Provide new opportunities for engaging the themes of the Passover festival, including interactive readings and bibliodrama
• Develop familiarity with the Exodus story, as well as the life and times of the people who shaped the development of the Haggadah
Reliving the Exodus is not about remembering an event long ago, but about participating in a conversation that provides hope and strength for the struggle to make tomorrow a brighter day. With this complete resource, you can create more meaningful encounters with Jewish values, traditions, and texts that lead well beyond the Seder itself.

“An incredible sourcebook for anyone looking to add a new dimension to their understanding of Passover and enrichment of his or her Seder.”

Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter

“Excellent.... Among the finest works that will help enable you to lead a creative and engaging Seder service ... over the course of many years.”

Jewish Star

“David Arnow has written the afikomen of Seder books: An ingenious synthesis of history, legend, law, and spirituality (un)leavened with practically helpful, politically important, and psychologically sophisticated suggestions on how to transform your meal into a true celebration of asking and learning. This book belongs next to every seder plate.”

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, Emanu-El Scholar at Congregation Emanu-El, San Francisco; author, The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition

“Will transform a traditional seder into one filled with vibrant thoughts and remarks…. A wonderful addition to the Pesach table!”

Center for Jewish Education

“Down to earth.... A classic.”

Jewish Daily Forward

“This richly informative and inspiring book is a treasure for all those seeking to create a Seder that is alive with questions that matter.”

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, coeditor, The Women’s Passover Companion

“An outstanding resource for enhancing seders.”

New York Jewish Week

“Many ideas, for children and adults, that can be adopted or adapted for those from different religious perspectives.... Handy ... for pre-seder preparation and for the seder itself.”

Chicago Jewish Star

“A wonderful collection of readings, stories, and activities to enhance your Passover celebration.”

Dr. Ron Wolfson, vice president, University of Judaism; author, Passover: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration

“[A] cornucopia of original texts, edifying stories and activities (for children, too) that will stimulate seder-sitters to read, talk and question events past, present and future.”

Hadassah Magazine

“What is most enjoyable is the connection between the ancient and the contemporary, the timely and timeless quality of our eternal texts which David Arnow has masterfully managed to bring to our attention. Will serve as a marvelous companion piece to the Passover Haggadah and can be referred to year after year.”

Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chancellor, Ohr Torah Stone Institutions of Israel

“Excellent, interesting, and informative material ... to go beyond the traditional Passover Seder night service, or deeper into it.... A valuable tool.”

Jewish Eye

“A deeply enriched and enriching Seder awaits those who use [this] comprehensive sourcebook. [Its] chapter on women of the Exodus is alone worth the cover price.”

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, author, Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

“An outstanding resource for any Seder leader. Your experience, level of knowledge of Jewish history and customs, no matter big or small, will definitely be greatly enriched.... Dynamic materials.”

Jewish iPhone Magazineerica

“The book everyone who has to lead or attend a Seder has been waiting for. Simply put: This book will ensure that Seders will be intellectually challenging, emotionally engaging, and spiritually uplifting for years to come. If we only have David Arnow’s new book to guide us to creating lively Passover Seders, Dayyenu—it would be enough!”

Rabbi Irwin Kula, president of CLAL: The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership; coeditor, The Book of Jewish Sacred Practices: CLAL’s Guide to Everyday & Holiday Rituals & Blessings

“Provides ways to introduce new symbols and new significance into the familiar rhythms of the seder.... Challenges every seder leader to go outside the box of the traditional haggadah, and provides the tools to do it.”

Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

“A gift to Jewish parents and teachers who want to explore the many layers of history and interpretation in our celebration of freedom.”

Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, editor, The Open Door, the Reform Haggadah

“A Comprehensive.... Provides provocative readings on a variety of subjects that further limn the Passover message of liberation as well as activities to allow those gathered to truly experience the imperative to relive it ‘as if we were slaves.’”

Jewish News of Greater Phoenix

“A treasure trove of lore and scholarship, insight and activities that will fascinate and enlighten readers and enrich their Seders for decades. An extraordinary array of strategies for reaching the diverse groups who gather to share the Seder experience.”

Rabbi David A. Teutsch, past president, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

“Innovative ... urges readers to make the ritual their own, using Passover as an opportunity to better understand and internalize Judaism, freedom and faith.”

Publishers Weekly

“A welcome support for Seder leaders everywhere. As Jewish life continues to evolve, the Seder remains a pivotal moment to transmit values, stories, and the culture of our people. This book is full of ideas, texts, and information on how to enrich the experience for all gathered at the table!.”

Rabbi Geela Rayzel Raphael, rabbinic director, Jewish Women’s Spirituality Institute, JCCs of Greater Philadelphia

“Wonderful ... filled with an enormous amount of information.... Offers specific, practical suggestions for ways to increase dialogue at the seder.”

Reporter Group

David Arnow, PhD, a psychologist by training, is widely recognized for his innovative work to make the Passover Seder a truly exciting encounter each year with Judaism’s most central ideas. He has been deeply involved with many organizations in the American Jewish community and Israel for the past two decades and is a respected lecturer, writer, and community leader.


Related Item(s)
Code Name Image
978-1-58023-211-1 Leading the Passover Journey: The Seder's Meaning Revealed
978-1-58023-174-9 Passover, 2nd Ed
978-1-58023-231-9 Women's Passover Companion (PB)
978-1-58023-232-6 Women's Seder Sourcebook (PB)
978-1-58023-445-0 Freedom Journeys


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