My Passover Memories

Passover Seder

What was your favorite childhood Jewish experience? For me, it was our family Passover Seders.

Every year, my family would schlep across the country to Maryland or New Jersey or Florida—depending on whose turn it was to host—to join my aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents, so we could retell the story of our Exodus from Egypt.

Every year, because we were the youngest kids, my brother and I would stand up and belt out the Four Questions, as my parents would beam with pride.

Every year, we would dip our pinky fingers into our wine and drip ten drops onto our plate as we recalled the Ten Plagues. Then my father would admonish us not to lick our fingers—as those were the plagues!

Every year, we would surreptitiously push the slimy gefilte fish onto our nearest cousin’s plate so we wouldn’t have to eat it, but we would hoard the sweet charoset for ourselves.

Every year, we would diligently watch for the grown-up who would steal the Afikomen from the table so he or she could hide it away, hoping to get a leg-up on the cage match Afikomen hunt after the meal.

Every year, my cousins and I would drink too much Manischewitz wine and scarf down way too many matzah balls, leading us to pass out while watching Charlton Heston part the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments.

And every year, we told the story, sang the songs, argued with each other, laughed heartily and proclaimed “Next Year in Jerusalem,” only to really mean, “Next Year in New Jersey, or Maryland or Florida.”

Is one of your favorite childhood—or adult—Jewish memories your family Seder? What are you doing today to create Passover memories for the next generation?

We are here to help you—and our entire community—create Jewish experiences that instill lifelong memories. And maybe one day, your kids or grandkids will look back and say their favorite childhood Jewish experience was something they did at the OFJCC.

Happy Passover!

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Zack Bodner

Written by Zack Bodner

Zack Bodner spends his days as the CEO of the OFJCC and his late nights waxing poetic on the Live Fully Blog. During the in-between hours, he and his wife ro-sham-bo for who does the dishes and who puts each of their three kids to sleep. On the weekends, Zack schleps his brood from soccer to baseball to drama to dance and then back to soccer. He can often be found asleep in one of his kids' beds after reading bedtime stories to them.

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