Tips for Engaging Remote Seder Participants
Once again, many of us will be celebrating Passover differently.
Here are some tips for actively engaging remote participants:
- Decide on a seder leader. Even when you're not all together in person, a seder still needs a leader or team to facilitate. Figure this out in advance. Assign roles to make sure that participants in all locations are included. Plan out who will do which reading roles. Make sure each reader is visible to those who are not in the same location. Try to ensure that your camera shows most of the seder items. Hold things up to the camera as you use them.
- Will everyone use the same haggadah? Some families prefer that all participants read from the same book, while others enjoy mixing it up. There are pros and cons to both. If you're all using the same haggadah, make sure each participant has a copy in advance. Quantity discounts are available on all our haggadot: save 15% off the purchase of 10 or more copies; 30% off purchase of 50 copies. Use expedited shipping to ensure they arrive before Passover.
Our newest haggadah, Seder in Motion: A Haggadah to Move Body and Soul, by Rabbi Ron Isaacs and Dr. Leora Isaacs, is a family-friendly way to engage all five senses in the Passover story and rituals and feel the transition from slavery to freedom connection.
- Remind participants to prepare in advance. Some participants may want to have their own seder plates. At minimum, encourage each group to have wine or grape juice and matzah. Other supplies to encourage could be salt water, maror and charoset.
- Test any audio or video-conferencing technology in advance. Think through the best way for attendees to participate: Should everyone be muted, only unmuting themselves when they have a part? Should the leader call on participants to unmute themselves? Only use tech you're comfortable with.
- Make the seder interactive.
- Give participants opportunities to contribute throughout.
- Ask questions for conversation.
- Engage children by having them show their own artwork on screen, build an animation of the plagues in advance, or create a house made of matzah.
- Families can prerecord skits or song parodies.
- Engage seniors by inviting them to show a Passover family heirloom, to briefly describe seders from when they were young, or to lead an activity.
- Use virtual backgrounds. For example, you could put yourself in front of an image of the parting of the Sea of Reeds.
- Make memories and have fun! Capture screenshots or take photos and share afterward as a memory keepsake.
- Above all, prepare. That way you will have the peace of mind to find joy in the content and connection of sharing a seder with family and friends both near and far.
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