Passover Traditions from Your WHC Family

Every year at the Passover seder, we tell the story of our people’s exodus from Egypt. Since the time of our forebears, there are certain aspects of the seder that have been constant – 10 plagues, a seder plate, and four questions among them.

From generation to generation, families grow and new traditions take shape.

Our WHC clergy and staff have shared beloved family seder traditions with us:

Rabbi Miller

“When my siblings and I were in preschool, we made frogs out of paper plates, and to this day, we still sing ‘The Frog Song” and throw these same frogs around the seder table.”

Cantor Bortnick

“Many years ago, we determined that a big meal is not necessary. By the time we eat the special Passover foods, we are full. So our meal consists mainly of hard boiled eggs, matzah ball soup (which has extra chicken and vegetables in it), gefilte fish, matzah, Ashkenazi and Sephardic Charoset, and a pesadich carrot ring. We then culminate the various side dishes with homemade macaroons and fruit.”

Rabbi Lustig

“We make the search for the afikoman fun and (a bit) challenging with a scavenger hunt! The afikoman is broken into eight pieces. Each piece is placed into an envelope that has one of the eight letters that spell ‘afikoman’ on it and a clue inside. The children are given the first clue. For example, one year ‘A forbidden place and space for Passover’ led the kids to an empty bread box on the kitchen counter. There, they found the first envelope with an ‘A’ on it and inside a piece of the afikoman and another clue. They might come back for hints or if it’s really challenging, we’ll do ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ to help them, but in the end, we always have A-F-I-K-O-M-A-N!”

Miryan Buchler, Early Childhood Director

“Growing up in Morocco, I have fond memories of Passover. On seder nights, my entire extended family would gather for a dinner filled with delicious Moroccan delicacies. One of the traditions invites the father or mother to pass the seder plate over every single person’s head sitting at the table while singing an Aramaic sentence reminding us that we left Egypt and were free. Pregnant moms get to have the seder plate passed around their head twice. It is quite a view! On the last day of Passover, after nightfall, we finish the holiday with a Mimouna celebration. We set a beautiful table with Moroccan cookies, dates and other sweet foods and our door remains symbolically open, inviting everyone to come and eat. Our Muslim neighbors would bring ‘petit lait’ (buttermilk) in friendship. Because not all families could eat at each other’s home due to Passover restrictions and customs, Mimouna is a way to finally reunite.”

Rabbi Fischel

“My family, along with our friends, make charoset from all over the world. Sometimes we have 10 different types of charoset on the table! Here is one of our favorites, a Venetian-style charoset by Paula Barbarito-Levitt from”

Rabbi Shankman

“Our family includes a variety of charoset, to honor both our Sephardic as well as our Ashkenazic roots. Here is our Ashenazi Charoset recipe as well as a simple Sephardic Charoset recipe that can be adapted with other ingredients that connect to Spanish (or other) Jewish heritage.”

Ashkenazi Charoset
Sephardic Charoset
  • 3 apples, chopped (peeled or unpeeled)
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Raisins (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. powdered ginger
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. powdered cinnamon
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. sugar (to taste)
  • 3 Tbsp. red Concord grape juice/wine

Mix together all ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 1 box pitted dates
  • Wine to moisten, if desired

Optional add-ins: cinnamon, apricots, almonds

Place in food processor and pulse until reach desired consistency (like mortar)