Last updated: March 29. 2013 5:24PM - 1274 Views

Abington Journal/Joan Mead-MatsuiIyuv Rafaeli and Emily Kessler decorate Matzo bags at the Passover Craft Fair in the Jewish Discovery Center.
Abington Journal/Joan Mead-MatsuiIyuv Rafaeli and Emily Kessler decorate Matzo bags at the Passover Craft Fair in the Jewish Discovery Center.
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Passover is Tania Goldberg’s favorite holiday because of its elaborate and rich history.

“…There’s such peace that every Seder you get to read this history…It’s amazing,” said Goldberg, who resides in Clarks Summit and was one of approximately 60 adults and children who attended a Passover Craft Fair, March 24, at the Jewish Discovery Center, Waverly, in celebration of Passover.

Passover began Monday evening March 25 with the first Seder and will last for seven days.

Thirty-five to 40 children took part in a hands-on craft experience, with the goal of the fair to focus on the children’s central role during Passover, a holiday that celebrates the time, or the season, when the Jewish people fled Egypt, according to Rabbi Benny Rapoport, Jewish Discovery Center co-director.

He explained Passover as, “They (the Jewish people) were enslaved for more than 200 years. God took the Jewish people out of Egypt with an outstretched arm, including great miracles, 10 plagues and the splitting of the sea,” he said.

“At the Seder, children take a central role. They are the ones asking the questions. They are the ones driving the narrative forward, so it’s really important that the children feel they are an integral part of the Seder, of the Passover experience, and thus, the crafts’ fair was an opportunity for them to make Passover their holiday… This is also something that is a community effort – you see the community coming together – families of all ages coming together to experience that.”

He and Jewish Discovery Center co-director, Chany Rapoport, chose four activities to enable the children to not only learn about Passover, but to experience it.

“It’s real,” he said. “It’s a first -person experience. They have a Passover Seder; they are going to experience the Exodus.”

Crafts included one of the ten plagues, specifically the third plague, “One of frogs, which is probably the most fun sounding plagues for kids – frogs everywhere – the imagery would be fun for kids,” said Rabbi Rapoport. Children also crafted a Matzo bag, which reflects one of the most important commandments on Passover – the prohibition of eating bread, of eating leavened products made from grain, and instead, eating Matzo, which is flat. They also embellished colorful cups symbolic of the Cup of Elijah that represents the true freedom of the Jewish people. Elijah comes to usher in the final redemption, which is signaled by the words recited at the end of the Seder.

To remember the bitterness, the slavery, and the difficult times endured during the exile, children grated horseradish, which is an important part of the Seder meal.

Rabbi Rapoport added, “We also made the Charoset, a paste made out of apples, nuts and wine, which is reminiscent of the cement that the Jewish people, our ancestors in Egypt were forced to build….”

Following the craft workshop, the children watched a video of young students reenacting and dramatizing the story of the Exodus.

For more information regarding upcoming programs at The Jewish Discovery Center, visit jewishdiscoverycenter.org, or call 570.587.3300

Children of all ages participated in the Passover Craft Fair, March 24 at the Jewish Disocovery Center. The event included various crafts, activities and hands-on fun.

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