Mar 13 2023 Dayenu Seder: Short, Downloadable Mini-Haggadah
The Jewish Grandparents Network created the Dayenu Seder in April 2020 when the COVID pandemic turned our lives upside down. We saw how families struggled with the shutdown and believed that many lacked the bandwidth to plan a virtual seder.
The idea was simple: give families a short, authentic way to participate in this universally loved Jewish ritual and provide additional content for users to adapt and expand as they chose. We called it the Dayenu Seder to acknowledge that whatever families were able to do in those strange times would be “enough.” Thousands downloaded, used, and loved the Dayenu Seder that first year. Thousands continue to use the version we revise and share each year.
Dayenu Seder can also be an ideal option to make your second-night seder different from all other nights. Consider holding your seder anywhere — indoors or outdoors — except at the traditional dining-room table.
Click HERE to download the Dayenu Seder.
Here are 6 quick ways to use the Dayenu Seder:
1. Use the ten-minute version with just one question.
In advance of or at the seder ask each participant for a one-sentence response to: “What was a specific joy you experienced or a challenge you faced since last Passover?” Keep a record of participants’ responses. Update the list each year as a reminder of who was at the seder and their life journeys.
2. Create a family Passover game “What’s Your Answer?”
Use the Dayenu Seder margin content or make up your own questions. Examples: Which items on the seder plate are most meaningful to you this year? At the Four Questions/Mah Nishtanah: How is our family different from other families?
3. In advance, ask everyone to send in their favorite photographs of a past family seder.
Share at the seder table and ask participants to tell the story of their photo. Ask the teens to capture this year’s seder memories by taking photos and videos on their phone throughout the gathering. They can organize the images into a slideshow for the next family get-together or preserve them in an online photo album and distribute them to participants after the event.
4. Prepare a family tree and discuss the Exodus moments participants have experienced across the generations and in their own lives.
Discover what transitions have mattered most to your guests — moves across country; new relationships, jobs, and schools; life-cycle events (births, marriages, deaths).
5. Invite children to ask older participants to share stories about their childhood seder memories.
Family stories can bring to life the Haggadah’s charge to see ourselves as though we were personally liberated from Egypt. Keep the stories short and dramatic to maintain the children’s interest.
6. Create a playlist of traditional and contemporary Passover songs.
Invite a teen to prepare the lineup. Include Passover-themed songs — for example, songs about freedom, social justice, miracles or awe, travel, and protecting others.
Lee M. Hendler is Co-Founder and Immediate Past President of the Jewish Grandparents Network and the author of Dayenu Seder.