Tips for First Time Seder-goers–Got Some?

I get lots of people calling to place orders on our website: challahconnection, who are ordering Passover gift baskets and Passover desserts to bring to seder. Many of them have never been to a seder and we seem to get into conversations about what the seder is, what happens, what to expect, etc. Of course I give them answers–which are all based on my own experience (fairly one sided)! So I was thinking what better way to get more info than to ask the (blogging) universe!

So imagine this: You meet someone who has been invited to their very first seder and they are nervous. They don’t know what to expect. They don’t know what to wear, what to say, what’s going to happen. They are worried about what THEY’ll have to do/say. What should they bring? What would you tell them? Or, can/will you share your own “first time seder” experience? Perhaps you’ve been going to seders for along time but have a great “first time” story–I’d love to hear it! I remember when I went to a seder at my fiances’ (now husbands) parents house and met all of the family for the first time–well, oy. Please share your stories–would love to hear! Jane Moritz, Challah Connection


  1. bob Said,

    March 25, 2007 @ 1:48 pm

    We have a really great tradition at a first nite seder loaded with shrinks, professors, and people with iq’s generatlly 50 points higher than my own. A week in advance of the seder, the host emails a discussion topic that’s somewhat religious, also timely in nature. It ranges from the typical passover-ish stuff to last year’s favorite, Iraq. Each guest is asked to react to and comment on the topic, and the discussion is energetic and goes everywhere. It’s almost as delicious as jane’s challah and cookies, which are also important parts of this event!

  2. Anonymous Said,

    April 9, 2007 @ 10:45 am

    My first seder happened on Long Island, just a stone’s throw from the Miracle Mile. At the time, I was a 20-something ingenue from Idaho dating a Jewish man (now my husband) who rebelled against his roots by NEVER gong home for the holidays. But my interest in his Jewish customs brought him back to the table, so to speak. My mother in law told me, in front of 50 of her closest friends and relatives, that I had made a “mensch” of him. That was just one of several words I had previously only heard in movies. The seder turned out to be a warm ceremony only loosely held together by the readings, conducted by my boyfriend’s father. I was fascinated by the link between food and history, between suffering (no flour) and celebration (but how about some delicious macaroons?!) Passover is still my favorite holiday because of the food that manages to be miraculously good and because kids and newcomers both are made a part of the ceremony.

  3. Joshua Mark Said,

    April 9, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    As Passover marches in, I find myself anxiously worrying about food. I don’t handle restrictions on food well (although strangely enough, I keep kosher with ease). So in a bit of almost, last minute desperation I decided to have a felafel. And several hours later, I can still feel those five minutes of deep fried transfat laced treat in my gut. Thank God.

    A thought on felafel. I’d be the last person to tell you what it’s made with or from but in spite of allergies and a burgeoning gut, the smell of felafel does me in. And even though felafel stands are a dime a dozen here in Israel, I’m schooled enough to not fall for just any felafel. One of the most important factors in getting good felafel, especially to us Americans, is surliness. The more attitude (as in bad) the better. My favorite felafel guy essentially makes me beg for my food. Why? He wants to see that I have what it takes to entrust me with his art. Without fail, I’ve noticed that nice, sweet felafel guys (and women) make lousy felafel. They should stick with sweets if that’s how they’re gonna be. Maybe the sweet guy is just happy to getting rid of his inferior product. That’s why I always go for the chutzpa.

  4. Anonymous Said,

    April 12, 2007 @ 5:21 am

    Got a copy of one of Hilary’s speeches at a recent Hadassah lunch. Thought the challahbloggers would find it interesting:

    Ladies of Hadassah.

    Let me start by saying how nice it is to be among mishpoche. I’m reminded of a Sunday morning a few weeks back when I was sitting with my husband, the former President, and our beautiful and talented daughter, Chelsea. (An investment banker now, by the way, with a very good company. I know I don’t have to tell you what a mecheiah it is, having a child like

    Anyway, I was sitting having my usual bagel with some good nova and a schmear, and I said to my husband, “Bill-eleh. How fortunate we all are to be living in this great country of ours. I mean, sure, we’ve still got that momzer in the White House. Not to mention Cheney, that chazzer. Or the farshimulte meeskite running the State Department. And don’t even get me started on Gonzales, that little toochis lecker! A cholyera on all of them, I say!

    “But this is my point. Where but in this beautiful country of ours would you find a boy named Grossman playing quarterback in the Super Bowl?

    (Okay, he lost the game, but gay g’zind.) And where but in America would I be sitting down with Mrs. Feinstein and Mrs. Boxer not to drink Sanka and play mah jongg, but to decide the important domestic and foreign issues of the day?

    And so, ladies, today as I reach out the hand of friendship to you, my shvestern, my landsmen, I come to ask that you join me in my quest. And to assure you that behind this goyishe punim is a yiddisher kop.

    I hope to meet each of you personally at the lovely dairy brunch following this event.  And I hope you’ll forgive me if I pass on the whitefish, it’s a little salty and I’m retaining. God bless America ! We should all live and be well!

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