It was a sweet start to the Passover season for over 500 members of Reform Jewish communities who attended Reform Judaism’s first national chocolate Seder on the 21st of March. Families from 22 communities across Britain attended the event, with children from Brighton to Manchester contributing readings and drawings during the Seder.
In a twist on the traditional Seder plate, participants were encouraged to put together a chocolate egg, ice-cream drumstick, chocolate mixture, chocolate dipped strawberries, sour candies, chocolate coated matzah and four cups of chocolate milk. In line with Reform Judaism’s egalitarian values, the Seder plate also included an orange as a feminist symbol and a cup of water for Miriam.
As well as copious amounts of chocolate, the Seder included a huge singalong video of Mah Nishtana featuring recordings sent in ahead of time by Reform Children. There was also a virtual hunt for an Afikomen hidden in photos of Reform Synagogues; 8 winners will be receiving a prize in the post.
One parent commented “It could be that the children are very ready for the world to be a better place; it could be that they are very welcoming people; either way, their sugar rush was perfectly timed for them to enthusiastically open the door for Elijah- the door is fine! I think they were beginning to vibrate by the time we were singing ‘Who Knows One’ – ‘Echad Mi Yodea’? – with choruses of ‘Who ha! Who ha ha! Who ha! Who ha ha!’
Inspiring enthusiasm for Pesach this year hasn’t been easy after a year of Covid. Thanks to living in a community we are getting closer and the kids are now ready to celebrate!”
Another parent added “It was the perfect length, perfect mix of some new knowledge and tradition and perfectly executed. This is the first religious activity my kids were super excited about.”
Naomi Raanan, who organised the event, commented “This Seder was held so that we could show our Reform Jewish kids across the country that they are part of something bigger. Every community made this joint event their own. Some ran sessions with groups of kids beforehand in preparation and shared their learning, drawings and recordings, some sent out packages with all the items needed on the chocolate Seder plate to their kids, but all communities were able to represent themselves showcasing their amazing work.”
You can watch the recording of the Chocolate Seder here.