Passover Traditions Around the World – API Blog

April 12, 2019

We’d like to wish our Jewish students, participants, alumni, staff and friends a happy and joyous Passover! If you’re studying abroad and want to find a seder, a group called KAHAL works specifically with study abroad students to help them find a Passover meal in their host city. They also highlight other resources students can use if they’d like to host their own seder at home! If you do take part in or host a seder, we would love to see your photos and memories! Tag our Instagram profile @apiabroad or use the hashtags #ispyAPI and #APIabroad. Chag Sameach!

Let’s take a look at some popular Passover traditions around the world!

API “Founding Mama” Julie Leitman (left) and family at a Passover meal

Hungary – Passover meals with some extra flair

Jewish families in Hungary often add special decorations to the table for their Passover meals: gold and silver jewelry! The idea behind this custom is that because Israelites were given precious metals by the Egyptians to hasten their exit from the land, families today should remember them and honor them by surrounding the Passover meal with a little flair. If you study abroad with us in Budapest next spring, you may even find yourself invited to one of these great gatherings!

Jewish restaurant in Poland

Australia – Educating others

Many Jewish families in Australia glorify Passover by connecting with the non-Jewish population! You’ll find educational activities, events and lectures throughout this week in beautiful cities like Cairns, Byron Bay, and of course the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne. If you’re studying abroad with us in Australia, this presents an amazing opportunity for non-Jewish students to learn more about a different culture.

API employee Tracy Cohen’s late grandmother, making a batch of delicious Matzah balls for Passover in South Africa

Poland – crossing the Red Sea

Poland, like Israel, also boasts some of the largest numbers of Jewish people in the world! Polish Jews in Krakow and beyond spend the seventh day of Passover reenacting the crossing of the Red Sea. Usually, these plays take place right in the family living room!

seder passover
API employees & friends having Seder in Austin

Passover in Italy – celebrations in Venice

Many Jewish families choose to spend part of Passover in Venice. A local group puts on a “Seder Crawl” each year, with participants signing up for a three-hour tour through Venice to explore the city’s history in Judaism. Because Passover is a holiday that spotlights freedom from oppression, the tour also highlights Venice’s own history of oppression; past and present. There’s music, wine tastings, and of course a delicious seder meal.

Happy and Joyous Passover from all of us at API!


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