Families Should Start Passover On Thursday (4/5) To Make Kids Feel Invested In Holiday’s True Meaning Says Noted Maryland Cantor Emanuel C. Perlman

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The Search for Leaven (“Chametz”), a Passover Eve tradition that’s increasingly lost or forgotten in the busy holiday shuffle is an ideal way for parents to teach the holiday's traditions--and re-learn them for themselves.

How can families get more out of Passover? Cantor Emanuel C. Perlman, Hazzan of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland feels that the best way to start is with The Search for Leaven (“Chametz”), a Passover Eve tradition that’s increasingly lost or forgotten in the busy holiday shuffle.

With the awareness that this tradition (among many others) is fading with each successive generation, Pearlman has helped develop a veritable GPS system for the entire holiday with his just released iPad app, A CANTOR’S SEDER (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/a-cantors-seder/id509568753?mt=8).

Perlman believes that the Passover search for leavened bread (a ritual that involves a feather, a lit candle and a wooden spoon) and resumes with the burning of the leavened bread the next morning is a great first step in keeping kids invested and engaged. While the traditional leaven hunt does not include a reward for the finder, Perlman welcomes the idea of each family creating a small prize as a precursor to the traditional Afikomen hunt the next day.

While kids are often overwhelmed by larger groups of relatives and friends on the first night of Passover, reviving the Leaven hunt the night before gives parents the chance to discuss what the holiday means to them, answer their own kid’s specific questions--and quickly find the answers to questions they can’t answer themselves.

While many complain that technology is taking us further away from the important spiritual traditions of the past, Perlman’s aim with the app is to educate. He believes that parents who are racing the family through the Passover Seder for fear that kids will be bored, are more often than not, actually making it far more difficult for their children feel engaged and invested in the true joy and meaning of the holiday.

The ability to sing more of the text throughout the Seder will also keep kids engaged, notes Perlman, who has recorded all of the music on the app. If those present can’t remember music and lyrics, the touch of a button will put everyone on course.

Cantor Emanuel Perlman, lyric tenor, is in his 15th year as the Hazzan of Chizuk Amuno Congregation in Baltimore, Maryland. Dubbed by talk show legend Larry King as “a combination Caruso and Mel Torme”, Hazzan Perlman has performed both the classics and his own original compositions throughout the world.

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