Setting a Contemporary Passover Table
Capture the celebratory mood
While I myself am not Jewish, I have had the pleasure of joining Passover gatherings in the past and recognize the importance of setting a beautiful table to properly capture the celebratory mood and religious significance of the holiday.
Celebrating the rituals of life and sharing our day-to-day experiences around a table creates lifelong family memories. These memories can be enhanced by adding elements of your family’s unique style and personality to the table with meaningful table settings, family heirlooms, and storytelling. The tradition of passing down keepsakes and stories from generation to generation is essential to the continuation of a family’s cultural legacy.
Start with your tablecloth. As the foundation of your table setting, the tablecloth does not have to be fancy, embellished or expensive. What’s important is that it’s clean and ironed. Simple white cloth and linens offer understated elegance, while solid colors can be coordinated with surrounding room décor and personal tastes.
Candles, candles, candles. Nothing sets the mood, or is as celebratory as candlelight. In addition to the candle stands on the table, I would recommend an individual ‘reading light’ votive at each place setting.
Of course, the Kiddush cup, Seder plate and matzo plate all need to be beautiful. If you don’t have a beautiful family heirloom to display, distinctive pieces can work just as well. Select items that are crafted with quality materials and in a timeless style. Judaica items are wonderful in that when they are used for celebrations, they become the heirlooms of tomorrow. Keep it special.
Additional ways to beautifully accent the table include decorative wine holders, cutlery, stemware and plates. Holidays are precious moments for families, and the more special they are, the more memorable they become!
Finally, since springtime is an important aspect to the holiday, flowers should be vibrant and colorful. Each place setting at a Seder should be treated as an individual setup for the guest. An individual flower arrangement in a small bowl or glass in each front each plate is a small touch that can make a big impact overall.
Michael Aram is a metalworking artist known for his mastery of traditional hand-crafting techniques and unique, whimsical designs.