CJF MINISTRIES Evangelizing, Equipping, & Educating.


The Passover Seder

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CJF Ministries


The Passover Lamb
by Ruth Nessim


Length of Program – 2-2½ Hours


  1. One white tablecloth for each table.
  2. Decorations should be simple and minimal because the place settings usually do not allow room for large table decorations. A blue and white color scheme is suggested since they are the colors of the Israeli flag.
  3. Two 10-12″ white candles in short candlestick holders, with matches (no lighters). Place the candles next to each other on the table.
  4. One serving platter placed in the center of the table with the following items:
    • 1 unpeeled, brown hard-boiled egg;
    • Peeled, hard-boiled eggs, one for each person (placed in serving bowl beside platter);
    • 1 cup ground horseradish;
    • 1 cup charoset;
    • 1 clear plastic cup of salted water (appearance should be cloudy);
    • 1 sprig of fresh parsley for each person;
    • 1 horseradish root or a small whole unpeeled onion.
  5. The “MATZAH TASH”/UNITY: You will need to have two large dinner-sized napkins at each table (“Vanity Fair” brand, for example). Place three whole pieces of matzah in the folds of one of the napkins. The second large dinner-sized napkin is to be folded in half and placed on top of the three layers of matzah placed within the other dinner-sized napkin.
  6. You may also set a dinner-sized plate on each table to hold one slice of matzah for each person. (Matzah is “unleavened bread,” and may be purchased at most of the major grocery stores.) Bread is not served.

Additional items you may choose to set on each table may include sugar, salt and pepper, non-dairy creamer, extra napkins, water/tea glasses, and a pitcher of water or tea, etc.


1.One dessert-sized plate, a napkin, dinner fork, dessert fork, soup spoon, teaspoon, and knife for each participant should be setup at each table before the program begins.

2.One 8 oz. cup for juice. Each cup should be pre-filled with grape juice. Enough juice should be available for each person to fill their glass twice. The glass will be filled once before the meal and again after the meal.

3.An additional soup bowl, dinner plate, and dessert-sized plate will be used when serving the meal.

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Chicken Broth* with Matzah Balls*

Roasted Chicken (use your favorite recipe)

Carrot Tzimmes

Baked Potato

Matzah ONLY is used

Macaroons, and Passover Carrot Torte or Brownies

Coffee, Tea (hot or iced), Water

MENU NOTES: Jewish people today no longer eat lamb during Passover. With the destruction of the Temple in AD 70, there is no longer a place to offer sacrifices. Foods containing leaven (yeast) should not be served; thus matzah (unleavened bread) and its derivatives are used throughout. Since Orthodox Jewish tradition forbids eating meat and milk products at the same meal, cream/milk, and butter should not be served. In areas of the country where there is a significant Jewish population, ingredients for the menu will be readily available at most food stores during the Passover season. If you find they are not available, a food store manager could order the items for you (ask for brand names like Streits, Tel Aviv, Manischewitz, and Mothers), or you could call a nearby synagogue for assistance in procuring the items.

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CHAROSET – Serves 20-24
4 apples
1 cup almonds, walnuts, or pecans
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons apple juice

Core apples and grate. Chop nuts and add to apples. With a wooden spoon stir in the cinnamon, honey and apple juice. This apple mixture is supposed to turn brown.


4-5 lbs. chicken backs and necks, or 1 large chicken
1 small bay leaf
1 tablespoon salt
2 sprigs parsley
3 qts cold water
1 carrot sliced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 stalks celery and tops

If using whole chicken, cut chicken into pieces. Place in large soup kettle with cold water. Cover and bring slowly to boil. Add the seasonings and vegetables. Simmer gently for about 4 hours. Skim off the top as needed. Strain soup and chill overnight. Remove the solidified fat. (This fat may then be used in the other recipes; e.g., stuffing, matzah balls, etc.) Reheat and add matzah balls when ready to serve. This makes about 2 quarts of soup (8 servings). Serving size: 1 cup. 


MATZAH BALLS (dumplings) – Serves 8 (1 matzah ball per person)
*We suggest using a matzah ball mix available at most stores in the international food section. Prepare according to directions. However, we recommend cooking the matzah balls in chicken soup, rather than in water. If the mix is not available, follow this recipe:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons soup stock or water
½ cup matzah meal (1-pound box of matzah meal yields about 4 cups meal)

Mix oil and eggs together. Mix Matzah meal and salt. Add to egg mixture. When well blended, add soup stock or water. Cover mixing bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Then form into 1 ½-inch balls. The batter will be moist and hard to form into balls—DO NOT ADD EXTRA MATZAH MEAL. Using a 2- to 3-quart pot, bring chicken broth to a brisk boil. Reduce heat to simmer and drop in balls. Cover pot and cook 30-40 minutes.


12 carrots, peeled
Pinch of nutmeg
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons margarine
10 pitted prunes
2 ounces honey
2 – 3-ounce cans of orange juice

Cut carrots into 1/2-inch slices. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch slices. Boil until tender—not soft—about 9 minutes. Arrange evenly in a casserole dish with other ingredients. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake another 8 to 10 minutes. (Do not overcook.) Serves 6 to 8.


BAKED POTATOES (Serve with non-dairy topping)—1 per person—baked in a 350º oven until tender.

1 medium to large potato per person
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
½ teaspoon cooking oil per potato
Onion slices (optional)

Soak garlic and onion in the oil for flavor, one hour or more. Peel potatoes and cut so that 2-3 pieces equal one portion. Coat the potatoes with oil and bake (with chicken, turkey, or beef roast) at 350º for 1 ½ hours until the outside is brown and crispy.


5 eggs, separated
½ cup potato starch
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cups ground almonds
½ lemon juice and grated rind
1 cup raw carrots, grated

Beat egg yolks with sugar until light and lemon colored. Add grated carrots and almonds, potato starch, lemon juice and rind, and cinnamon. Beat egg whites until stiff, fold into carrot mixture. Generously grease 9″ spring-form pan; pour mixture into pan and bake at 375º oven for 1 hour.


ALMOND MACAROONS – Makes about 30-40 cookies
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 cups ground almond

Beat egg whites until they become stiff. Add sugar, and mix until smooth. Add ground almonds. Unless you have a very powerful mixer, do this last by hand; the batter becomes very thick. Drop on greased cookie sheet by the teaspoon-full (about the size of a walnut). Bake 10-15 minutes at 350º until golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Recipe doubles well.

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The first part of the Passover meal is ceremonial, and the initial place setting has all the items for this portion of the service. It is at least 40 minutes in length. Following this 40-minute (or longer) ceremonial part of the service, the serving of dinner begins. NOTE: The dinner is not served until at least 40 minutes after the service begins. THEN: remove used plates

1. Serve the soup
2. Prepare main course for serving
3. Remove soup bowls
4. Serve main course
5. Remove plates
6. Serve coffee and tea
7. Serve dessert
8. Remove dessert plates and beverage cups/glasses, except for juice glass
9. Refill juice cups

Part 1
Seder plate
approx. 45 minutes
Matzah Tash-2 cups

Part 2
approx. 50 minutes

Part 3
approx. 10 minutes

Part 4
2 Cups
approx. 15-20 minutes
Matzah Tash

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Cooks – We have found the menu and recipes to be successful. It would be a good idea to try the recipes a few days before so the cooks will get a feel of how the cooking will go.


Please remember that the Seder plates, the Matzah Tash, the other plates of matzah, along with the appetizers, must be ready and on the tables when the people arrive. The dinner itself is served after the appetizers are eaten.

The Passover menu is very traditional, just as turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie are traditional for Thanksgiving. If you make substitutions, some of the Jewish flavor of your Passover experience will be lost. Be sure not to use yeast, baking powder, or baking soda.

We have tried to make the meal kosher style. Kosher means “fit” to eat. Because of various Jewish laws in preparing the kitchen for Passover, it is impossible for you to have a totally kosher meal. Jewish people will understand your effort to prepare a kosher-style meal and will greatly appreciate the fact that you have been sensitive to Jewish tradition concerning the Passover. This demonstrates what Paul said, “Unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews” (1 Cor. 9:20).

It may be wise to try recipes ahead of time to familiarize yourself with them and determine if the serving size suggested is suitable to your situation. Much of the food may be prepared ahead of time and frozen, starting a week or more before the dinner (once you have an idea of the number to be served).

Interested in having a CJFM representative host a seder at your church? Request more information here.