What makes this year different from every other year? It’s that we can’t host a gathering with lots of friends and family coming over. But every year, it’s the people celebrating with us who make any holiday special—and you can still be with them virtually, even if you’re not in the same place. And you can still keep up your favorite traditions and make the event special and meaningful. This year—or any year your loved ones find themselves far apart—try having a tele-seder over video-chats like Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Skype. The important thing is that you’ll be “together” sharing the story of Passover, a message of human suffering and triumph which may be even more meaningful this year. Here are some ways to make your virtual Seder a reality and keep the traditions going:

Keep It Together

-Since you’re celebrating in Cyberspace, there’s no limit to the number of people who can fit around your table (even if everyone comes, there will still be an extra spot for the Prophet Elijah!). Reach out to anyone you think would appreciate spending the holiday with you and yours—former roommates, second cousins, neighbors who live alone—with an online invitation from Minted or Paperless Post sharing the time and call in info.

-As you prep for the holiday, DIT (my version of DIY). Do It Together with your family by cooking or crafting on FaceTime in the lead up to the main event.

-If you don’t already have the same Haggadot you can all follow along with, pick an online Haggadah. There are so many options including one children can color, or a version made for a #friendseder. Once you select yours, send everyone the link or pdf to download so that you’re all on the same page.

-Follow the leaders. Take turns leading the Seder, either by sharing a run-of-Seder list ahead of time or having someone start the readings, then nominate the next person to read over video chat.

-Music really adds to the spirit of the holiday, whether it’s singing prayers together or listening to a playlist—you can put together your own and share it with friends, or find an option on Spotify like this one from Jewish Learning Matters or the Passover Songs playlist.

-Share the love: Passover reminds us to be grateful for family, friends, and freedom and to help others who are suffering. Email everyone a link to downloadable Thankful placecard, and you can write what you’re grateful for inside, and have everyone share their own and inspire each other—because at difficult times it’s so important to be thankful and hopeful. You can also pick a charity together and make a donation to an organization that is helping others. Or, cook a large recipe and wrap up care packages of food to leave on the doorstep of a friend, relative, or neighbor.

Follow Your Traditions

Traditions make us feel good, let us know it’s a special occasion, and remind us of happy times we’ve shared together in the past and will share again in the future. Think about what customs mean Passover to you, and follow them in some way or another, even if it means the four questions are being read from four different log-ins, or if you’re all pouring Elijah’s cup at the same time, and you’re using a regular glass because your kiddush cup is at your parents’.

Don’t feel the pressure to do it all! Choose to do whatever works for you this year, whether it’s narrowing down what you’re cooking or what you’re ordering, or pulling out your grandma’s candlestick and calling that your centerpiece.

Livestream services or songs together from a synagogue that offers streaming services, whether it’s your own or you’re exploring a congregation in another place.

If the usual Seder plate is at grandma’s across the country, email everyone a link to our DIY “seder plate” which they can download and print. (Can’t get to the store for lamb shanks and horseradish? No worries, we have the paper versions for your centerpiece.) Even if you’ve got an actual plate to use, you might want to print out the black and white version of this one for kids color in while they wait for the matzoh ball soup to be ready.

When you don’t have the traditional matzoh covering handy, any fabric or linen napkin or tea towel can fill in—use a Sharpie to decorate it with the names of everyone at your virtual Seder. You can do the same to customize a pillowcase for reclining.

“Hide” the afikomen. Every kid’s favorite part of the seder can still happen, it just takes a little planning ahead. Have grandpa—or whomever is the designated hider in your crew—email the adults a hiding spot everyone can recreate in their home (like taped under mom’s chair). Then let the kids search while the adults watch the hunt from their screens.

Chances are you’ll each have slightly different menus or your own go-to items at your tables. But to bring everyone together, it’s fun to pick a favorite dish or two and share the recipe—whether it’s grandma’s matzoh ball soup, Food 52’s take, Ina Garten’s recipe, or Martha Stewart’s version—and all make the same thing. If you live near friends or relatives you normally celebrate with, split up the menu so that one household prepares the main course, another a side dish, a third dessert, and you each drop off portions on everyone’s doorstep. If you cook together when celebrating in person, you can even videochat while preparing the dish! Or, you can each order in similar items from the same shop and there are also places like Fresh Direct that cater entire Seder meals.

Support small businesses near you—if there’s a restaurant, bakery, or florist that offers pickup or delivery, there’s never been a better time to order from them. You might even find a local wine store that can deliver kosher wine.

Set a Celebratory Table

Even if it’s just a few of you and your laptops, break out your holiday best attire for that “special occasion” feel.

Bring out the nice china even if it’s only a couple of placesettings and a couple of linen napkins.

Since Passover is a celebration of Spring, decorate with flowers whether they’re real, paper, or a paper-napkin-cherry-blossom centerpiece (click here for a how-to).

For easy decor, slip a single blossom—whether it’s real or paper—inside a napkin, so the table looks different from the way you’ve been setting it every day.

Whether it’s holiday candles or votives, flickering candlelight always adds a little ambience.

Turn dessert into decor. Snip some triangles into top of the classic Passover candy—kosher jellied fruit slices—using kitchen shears or a paring knife, to turn them into a field of tulips.

Keep it sweet. For an easy snack, make chocolate-covered matzoh. Just melt chocolate, dip in a piece of matzoh, and top with: sea salt, sprinkles, pistachios, edible glitter or whatever you have on hand. You can also make a batch, wrap in wax paper or pack in a foodsafe box and mail or drop off for your friends, family or a neighbor.

You can also craft your floral “centerpieces.” Get kids involved in setting the virtual scene; in their own homes, they can set the table and make pipe cleaner flowers for centerpieces—and can even facetime each other for a flower crafternoon the afternoon of the gathering.


As one of the 10 plagues of Egypt, frogs are associated with Passover. And our downloadable frogs make it easy to decorate in that spirit. Print them out and scatter them along the table like confetti, write the names of all your guests on a little green guy and set them in the middle of the table to show that they’re with you in spirit, let the kids have frog “races” by seeing which one can “hop” the farthest (when tossed across the coffee table, for example), play a game of tic tac toe using the two different style frogs, or slip them into your real or paper floral arrangements as decor.