Best Ways To Celebrate Passover 2013 With Kids In Tampa Bay

March 15, 2013 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Passover officially starts right after sunset on Monday, March 25th, kicking off a week-long series of festivities. Some debate the precise start time as ether a few minutes or an hour after sunset. Either way, the week commemorates the freedom of Israelite slaves from Egypt, as written in the Book of Exodus. Matzo, a type of unleavened flat bread, symbolizes the holiday, eaten both alone or in its famous soup form. Most families and temples now celebrate the holiday with a decadent feast called the Seder, often preceded or followed by a religious service.

Congregation Beth Am Dayenu
2030 W. Fletcher Ave.
Tampa, FL 33612
(813) 968-8511

To start the festivities a bit early, the Congregation Beth Am will offer a fun-filled lecture and concert, focused on the theme of Wonders and Miracles of Passover. Attendants will exchange stories of Passover and Pesach festivities from around the world, as well as sing traditional songs and discuss the different culinary traditions of Seder. Discussion will also focus on the songs and stories from the Haggadah and other Pesach rituals. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23rd and should last about an hour and a half. More information can be obtained from the Congregation by telephone.

Temple New Jerusalem
Temporary location: Calvary Baptist Church
110 N. McMullen Booth Road
Clearwater, FL 33759
(727) 940-5886

On Friday, March 29, the Temple New Jerusalem will welcome Jews and non-Jews alike for a special Shabbat Passover Worship. The service starts with a Davidic dance class at 7 p.m., followed by the traditional Shabbat at 8 p.m. Rabbi Michael Stepakoff will discuss the role of Yeshua in the Jewish faith. Due to renovations taking place at the Temple’s normal location, all services will be held at the Calvary Baptist Church until further notice.

Congregation Kol Ami
3919 Moran Road
Tampa, FL 33618
(813) 962-6338

The Congregation Kol Ami will host two events for Passover this year, its annual Second Night Passover Seder and a Sisterhood Passover BBQ Lunch. The Seder will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26th, followed by an Erev Pesach II service. Catered by Banquet Masters, the congregation will charge adults $40 and children (four and older) $25, while children three and under can join for free. The menu includes matzoh and matzoh ball soup, salad, Gilfilite fish and chicken breast with apricot glaze, oven-roasted potatoes and honey-glazed carrots. There will also be a vegetarian option of stuffed eggplant available. For dessert, there will be a kosher brownie. The Congregation would like participants to RSVP with the names of those attending, children’s ages and to specify if any would prefer the vegetarian option. As of time of print, few details were available about the Sisterhood Passover BBQ Lunch, aside from the fact that it will take place at noon on Sunday, March 31st.

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Bais David Chabad
2001 W. Swann Ave.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 375-9799

Every week, Bais David Chabad holds Mommy and Me, a special service for mothers and their young children, from newborns to age five. The meeting starts at noon each Thursday and lasts an hour. It includes music and dancing, arts and crafts and storytelling with a focus on learning the Alef Bet. To learn more or reserve a spot, please contact Chana Rivkin at the above telephone number.<

Chabad Jewish Center
4010 Park St. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
(727) 344-4900

The Chabad Jewish Center of St. Petersburg will host a traditional-style Moshiach feast on Tuesday, April 2 at 7:15 p.m. For the last day of Passover this year, the Center will emphasize the themes of freedom and redemption. Starting off with the ceremony of Baal Shem Tov and singing, this conclusion for Passover will include a huge meal, of course with the essentials of matzah, and (for the adults) four cups of wine. The meal will be sponsored by Michael and Gail Frye to honor the memory of their fathers.

“Hoe Down Moses” Greater Seder
The Rusty Pelican
2425 N. Rocky Point Drive
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 943-2677

On Tuesday, March 26th starting at 6 p.m., the Rusty Pelican Restaurant will host the “Hoe Down Moses” Greater Seder. The musical comedy show, now in its eighth year running, tells the story of “how the West Bank was really won.” The menu will include soup, salad, orange-hinted chicken with roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables and dessert. Passover wine and warm beverages will also be served. Individual tickets start at $45, with special packages and advertising opportunities available for sponsors.

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Aaron Phillips has experience in marketing and journalism. Recently back to his hometown, he’s excited to discover and share what Tampa has to offer. His work can be found at

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