5 Ways to Engage Kids in Social Justice this Passover

Given the state of our country and the world today, there’s a lot riding on the next generation of human beings. Parents and educators need all the tools we can get to encourage kids to care about enormous challenges like racism, gender inequality and climate change—so they’ll someday build a better world than the one they were born into. To get their gears turning, the Jewish holidays are a great place to start. The Passover story contains a trove of lessons about inequity, identity, activism and having the courage to speak truth to power.

Here are 5 ways to engage the kids in your life to think about social justice this Passover:

 1) Make a seder plate for justice. Ask your child what things in their life make them feel oppressed or free—and find things around the house that represent them. A pencil for homework? Olives for peace between siblings? Collect them all to make a personalized seder plate for your family.

 2) Ask your own four questions. After singing the Mah Nishtanah, ask kids some of your own questions: Do you know anyone like Pharoah in our world today? What would it feel like to stand up to them, like Moses did? What’s one thing you can do when you see a Pharoah in your own life?

 3) Tell a modern Passover story. The Israelites left slavery in Egypt and walked to freedom. Talk to kids about people struggling to overcome oppression today and discuss ways you can get involved.

 4) Sing songs of freedom. The Haggadah is full of songs about liberation. Ask your kids what other freedom songs they know. Teach them songs from other cultures and talk about being allies to others working for justice. Many songs from the Civil Rights movement, such as “We Shall Overcome,” are right at home on Passover.

 5) Stage a Passover “protest.” Ask your kids to imagine they were the Israelites and had to convince Pharoah to free them from enslavement. Come up with protest slogans, make signs on cardboard and march around the neighborhood or your living room demanding “Let My People Go!”

For more fun for kids this Passover, download our Passover Play Pack!