By Gabrielle Adler, Director of House Programs and Ziva Swire, MHWOW Program Coordinator 

We know that Passover is going to look and feel a little different this year for you and for all Jews around the world. At a time when it is commanded for us to come together as communities, we are not able to in the same way this year. But we are resilient people and times of hardship and uncertainty are no stranger to us and we will get through this together. So when it comes to hosting your first virtual Passover, we understand you might be looking for tips, tricks, and ideas. Below, you’ll find a compiled list of Passover articles and resources that Moishe House has published in the past as well as how to adapt these resources to be virtual-friendly for your programs. 

Tips on hosting a virtual Passover program:

  • Determine the goals of your program and create intention. What do you want your participants to think, feel, and do? What is the type of atmosphere that you want to create? How many people do you want to attend? Finding the answers to these questions will help you plan your program to meet your goals. 
  • Decide on a virtual platform! There are a lot of options out there, we highly recommend Zoom (pro tip: learn how to “mute all participants” upon entry), but there’s also Google Hangouts, Facebook Live, YouTube, Instagram Live, and many more! Whatever you decide, set some time before your program to make sure you’re familiar with how it works, the features like breakout groups and screen sharing, and what directions your participants will need to know for joining. 
  • Get the word out about your program like you normally would for an in-person gathering. This may include creating a Facebook event, texting people, sending emails, and posting on your personal social media. In the invitation, make sure you include details like what platform you’re using, instructions on how to use it, the time of the event and include multiple time zones, what materials participants will need, etc.
  • Create a detailed shopping list for your participants of what they will need to purchase to participate in your program and send it to them at least three non-Shabbat days in advance.
  • Do a test run of your program. Designate the spot in your house that you’ll be stationed at for your program and do things like test your audio, take a look at what’s in the background, how the lighting is coming through on screen, and ensure that it is a location where you can easily have all your materials within an arm’s length.
  • Prepare resources and supplies at least one week before your program. Determine which Haggadah you’ll be using if you’re hosting a seder and send it to your participants so they’ll be able to follow along. If you’re doing a non-seder Passover program, think about what materials or handouts your guests might need to be able to participate. Make sure to email or text this information to your guests in advance. 
  • Define responsibilities and roles. On a virtual platform, it’s easy for a program to become everyone trying to talk at once. Before your program begins, make sure you establish who is leading and what roles others could play.
  • Welcome your guests. Understand that folks might join at different times if they aren’t familiar with the virtual platform so take a moment to say hello and catch them up to where you are (for example, “Hi Moishe, so glad you could make it. We’re on page 7 at the bottom of the Haggadah and just recited the blessing for the first cup of wine”). It’s also okay to acknowledge to your participants that “this is a little weird” to ease tensions and not put the pressure on yourself to lead a perfect program when this is something you may have never done before. 


Chag Pesach Sameach to all!

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