Jewish Moments

Bringing the Hostages to Your Seder: Seder Supplement

How might we integrate hope for the return of our hostages into our Seders this year? How might we meaningfully engage an intergenerational group with the hostage issue at the Seder table?

Pesah celebrates the quintessential moment of Jewish redemption, the Exodus from Egypt, which has informed Jewish responses to moments of collective suffering throughout Jewish history. As such, there is no more appropriate moment to acknowledge and respond to the suffering of our brethren in captivity in Gaza than during our retelling of the Exodus narrative. The mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim—redeeming captives—is a Jewish obligation… in the same category as the Jewish obligations that we fulfill each year at our Seders: eating matzah and maror, recounting the Exodus from Egypt, and singing God’s praises. This resource offers a practical, adaptable activity to help Seder participants of all ages to make connections between the obligations of Pesah and our collective obligation to redeem our captives. In this activity, not only the afikoman, but several ritual items needed to fulfill our obligations at the Seder, are in turn hidden, discovered, and redeemed. The jarring image of the empty Seder plate at the center of our holiday table serves to highlight the plight of the captives who are jarringly absent from their families’ Seder tables this year. The return of each set of ritual items is accompanied by intentions and prompts for thoughtful reflection that connect Pesah’s story and rituals to the plight of the hostages, and the gradual replenishing of the Seder plate embodies our deep longing for their redemption.

Adults Children Middle School Teens Young adults

We’re interested in learning about how you’ve implemented this resource in your community. Please share your experiences by completing a brief form here >



In addition to this resource, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum has created an original Haggadah, which includes the complete text of the Haggadah and is embedded with messages of hope and inspiration by Israeli spiritual and cultural leaders. 

Support the campaign by ordering copies of this Haggadah to be shipped to your home before Passover: Order in the United States and Canada here and order in Israel here.


In partnership with

Dedicate this activity in honor of

Daniel Peretz Z״L 22

Daniel fell in battle during the attack and His body was taken hostage by Hamas.

You May Also Like
Interfaith Gathering
Joseph in Captivity: Convene an Interfaith Gathering
How might we overcome our differences and highlight our common values?
Joseph in Captivity: Convene an Interfaith Gathering
Joseph in Captivity: Convene an Interfaith Gathering
Holding Innocent People
Holding Innocent People
Has the Red Cross Crossed the Line?
Holding Innocent People
Holding Innocent People
Every Second Counts for Freedom
Freedom Trips
Making Our Voices Heard
Freedom Trips
Freedom Trips
Educational Toolkit
Stay informed about Everyone Counts updates and new resources

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Skip to content