In this age of smart technology, the messaging and information children absorb often leave parents out of the loop. Chabad representatives around the world see the seder as a time to bridge the generational gap. “The seder, with its ritual and history can seem outdated to children of today so we have to get them involved, make it relevant and make it fun for the kids and their families,” says Devorah Leah Lein, Chabad representative of North Brooklyn. Devorah Leah and her husband Shmuli, are preparing to lead a unique seder for families: puppets will tell the story of the slavery and exodus of the Jewish nation, and participants are invited to ask the four questions in multiple languages.
Other Chabads are planning to appoint children to lead the seder. The youngsters will introduce the fifteen steps of the seder routine as they move through the process. In Eastern Shores, Florida, at the Chabad seder led by Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld and his wife Sara, participants will take turns reading from the hagaddah in the language most comfortable for them. As they partake of the hand-made shmura matzah and four cups of wine, children and adults will be invited to discuss how lessons learned from ancient traditions and stories can be applied in our daily lives today.
Dr Jonathan Abraham Kirell of Huntington, Long Island, NY recalls the seder led by Chabad Rabbi Asher Vaisfische and held at Melville Chabad that deeply affected his family. “The next night we were at my sister-in-law’s seder,” he says. “When I started sharing some of the commentaries and stories I’d heard at Chabad, all present were riveted. The insights I’d gained were enjoyed by everyone so much, that for the first time in our family’s history we went through the entire hagaddah.”