How to Prepare for a Model Seder

Just as Jesus sent the disciples to prepare for the Passover, so we need your help to prepare!

The speaker will arrive approximately 45 minutes before the service to set up. For the most effective presentation, we ask the church or hosting group to provide some of the items, as it can be difficult for the speaker to transport all the materials needed. We’ve included visual instructions to give you an idea of what is needed.

Because the congregation participates, a Model Seder often runs approximately 75 minutes. Please allow sufficient time and inform your members if the service will be longer than usual. You might like to consider having a Communion service after the Model Seder. If you desire to have Communion, our preference is that the pastor or spiritual leader presides over the Lord’s Supper. These arrangements can be discussed when the Jews for Jesus missionary calls to confirm the details of the event.

Songs on the atonement, the cross or the Lamb of God would be appropriate within the service. Unless the room is very small and intimate, make sure the leader has a microphone, preferably hands free.

Food Items—Leader’s Table:

The following items should be placed on the leader’s table in transparent containers (so items will be visible to the congregation). Items not shown:

  • Bowl of tap water for washing (A transparent medium sized bowl is preferred. Soap isn’t needed.)
  • Small cloth to dry hands after washing
  • Pitcher of grape juice
  • Clear glass or plastic cup for drinking the grape juice
  • Large white dinner napkin (paper or cloth is fine)
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A hard-boiled egg. You can use a brown egg or you can color the shell by hard-boiling in coffee. Water and salt: Add enough salt to the water so that it appears “cloudy.”
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Some parsley (sprigs, not chopped). See video for reference. An unpeeled onion, or you can substitute a horseradish root (often in the produce department) if available.
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A finely diced apple, peeled and cored. Pieces can be the size pictured so as to resemble mortar (a reminder of the Israelites’ building projects in Egypt). Allow it to stand so it turns brown. Adding a little cinnamon can help darken the color. Ground horseradish:This item is often found in the ethnic food section of your market. Many stores will have a “Passover” area during the spring. (Morehouse or Manischewitz brands are good ones to use.) If you can’t find it, ask your grocer for help.

The Table

Please have one large table (six feet long is the preferred length) with a white tablecloth. Place a chair and a large bed pillow with white slipcases at each end. Since this is supposed to represent the dining room in a Jewish home, it’s best not to use folding chairs. (But please don’t bring your good dining room chairs from home!)

Also, have two 12″ white dinner candles with holders and matches to light them. If you can’t find 12 inch candles slightly shorter is fine. Dripless candles are best. If there are several services, a fresh set of candles for each service will look best but is not required. (You can use a BBQ lighter if matches are not available.)

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This picture shows a typical table, food items, candles and one of the chairs with pillow. The speaker will bring additional items that he or she will place on the table, so that the final setup will look something like this.

Congregation Tables:

The following items should be placed at each table. (Use the leader table images as examples.)

  • Two candles, holders and matches.
  • Pitchers of grape juice with enough juice for each person to refill their cup four times. (Half glasses are fine. Some churches may prefer to use wine.)
  • Small glass or paper cups for each person.
  • Enough matzo for each person to have half a piece.
  • One or two bowls (depending on size of table) of plain water for washing hands. Towels for drying.
  • A small bowl of salt water for every four people.
  • A small bowl of charoseth. (see recipe below). About one tablespoon per person should do it, but this is a tasty combination and people will want more than a spoonful!
  • Small dish of ground horseradish.
  • A few sprigs of parsley (enough so that each person gets a little sprig).
  • Half of a peeled hardboiled egg per person.

Additional Info: 

  • Where can I buy Matzo? In the ethnic food section of a store or online. You will need it on every table. Popular brands include, Yehuda, Manischewitz, and Streit’s. (Do not use egg Matzo as it’s not kosher for Passover.)
  • Will we need to plate a set of elements for each person? No. “Family style” usually works best when serving the elements to a whole table. But everyone will need their own place setting, cup for juice/wine, an empty plate and a fork.
  • Do we need to serve lamb? No. While we love lamb, it’s usually cost prohibitive to large groups. However, this is your event and you can serve lamb if you’d like.
  • What kind of meat can we serve? Or not serve? You can serve dishes using chicken or beef and search for Passover dishes on allrecipes.com. Also, to offer a more traditional Passover meal, do not use pork or shellfish, yeast, baking soda, or other rising agents. Call us if you have any questions about this list. Thank you for making this a special time of ministry!

Charoseth 

  • 2 tart apples
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Passover wine or grape juice.

Core apples (it is not necessary to peel them). Chop apples and walnuts together in food processor blender or by hand until finely chopped (the size of grape nuts). With a wooden spoon, stir in the cinnamon, honey and wine until well blended. Will serve 10-12 people. Serving is 1 tsp to 1 tbsp per person on a piece of matzo.

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