Chag Kasher v’Sameach: Traditions from Around USY

Hi USY! The Religion/Education International General Board is REL/EDiculously excited to showcase more family traditions! For Passover, USYers from across North America talked about their traditions! We hope you enjoy!


Sadie Waldbaum – HaNegev

“Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday. I love when all of our family and friends gather together for a seder with delicious food, and to hear the retelling of the Passover story. From the Karpas, to searching for the Matzah, to setting out Elijah’s cup, to the four questions, I love schmoozing around the Passover table and enjoying the company around me. My favorite Passover tradition is our packet of Passover themed songs, put to the tunes of Broadway shows. I love Broadway musicals, so getting to sing along to the familiar melodies while helping to retell the stories of our ancestors combines two of my favorite things: Judaism and theater! I am looking forward to singing some new Passover songs this year! Chag Sameach!”


Kira Gold – Tzafon

“My Passover tradition started a few years ago, and once we started it, Passover for the Gold family would never be the same again. Every year we still eat kosher for Passover rainbow cake and matzah brei, but now we have the entire seder in the living room until it’s time to eat. We start a few hours early and nosh throughout the afternoon with salad and appetizers. When we finally eat, it’s perfect timing! Last year, we ate so much food. I ate so much rainbow cake that I took a mini-nap before Birkat Hamazon. All things considered, my family’s traditions make for a pretty great Passover.”



Isaac Schein – Hanefesh

“Every year for Passover, we have our own seder and go to another family’s home as well. Hiding the afikomen was, and still is, a huge part of the Seder as all the kids either work together, or have a fun time competing. Each prayer or English reading is read by a different member of the family. In terms of food, bon-bons and charoset are always the highlights of the meal.”



Ilana Williams – SWUSY

“My Passover family tradition is making charoset. We spend hours the night before trying to make two perfect batches; one with walnuts and one without. First, My dad peels the huge bag of apples. Next, my mom cuts the apples, and my sister and I switch between helping my mom and crushing walnuts. Then, we add the cinnamon and the wine together. We celebrate Passover at my grandparents’ house so they have everything else made and we just bring the charoset.”



Jacob Bloom – ECRUSY

“Over Passover I go to my grandparents’ house. While there, all of the grandchildren tell a bit of the Passover story. When they don’t know a part, or have spoken for a while, they say ‘Passover’ and the next person picks up telling the Passover story. Also, when we get to the plagues part of the story, we bring out props and act it out. For the death of the first born, I always get fake killed by my younger siblings and cousins.”



Bella Schneider – CHUSY

“Every year on Passover we read from a Prince of Egypt haggadah. We obviously also use the adult books, but ever since I was a little kid my family used these Prince of Egypt themed haggadot. It’s really fun because there are pictures from the movie, and it reminds me of when I watched the movie in Hebrew School.”