Enhancing the passover dinner

Chabad Islington UK
Freelance Product Designer
The Jewish Passover commemorates the Israelites’ liberation from slavery in Egypt. On the first night of the week long celebration, Jewish families gather to share a special meal called seder. Seder means ‘order’ in Hebrew which suits the dinner, as it has 15 steps with prescribed rituals and texts all geared towards remembering and experiencing what the Israelites went through under slavery.


Chabad Islington provides to the members of their community a kit with all the key elements to celebrate the seder dinner. This year, they wanted to explore adding new elements that would enhance the experience of the night.

It was an open brief where I would explore and propose different concepts. After approval, I also move forward designing the artwork for each of the new items.

I worked closely with members of the community to make sure that my work was accurate throughout.

ORIGINAL seder kit

The original kit included the following items:


Eaten at different parts of the seder dinner, each with the purpose to evoke a flavour and sensation that resembled a particular part of the Exodus story.

Wine and cup

Wine, as a symbol of joy and happines, is drank four times at different points of the night.


Unleavened bread. The Israelites didn’t have time to wait of their bread to rise when leaving Egypt. It is a very important symbolic element for the night.


Hagaddah means ‘telling’ and its primary purpose is to facilitate the retelling of the story of the Exodus as well as indicating when, what and how each rite should be performed.


Not being a member of the Jewish community meant having to quickly immerse myself to learn about the rites, and the history of the Passover and the Exodus.

One of the ways I went about to do this was recreating, as best as, possible my own seder dinner, while drawing and taking notes. Along with online classes, conversations with members of the Chabad Islington organisation and further reading I was able to deconstruct the seder dinner.
When developing my concept I had to have three key users in mind:
  • Kids
  • Young professionals living alone
  • Young couples
This meant adding elements that would make the ceremony:
  • Engaging
  • Fun to be performed alone as well as with others
  • Easy to follow and understand

Enhanced kit

Apart from the 6 special foods, the wine and cup and the matzah, my additions to the kit were:


Introduces the elements found in the kit, provides a simple instructions checklist for people to go through before starting the seder dinner and also includes sections of the Haggadah that need to be read at different moments of the dinner.


The cards were created to replace the Haggadah. On each, the action required for each is succinctly introduced. In some cases, the cards would point to further reading found in the seder companion.

In these cards there was also a section that pose questions or points of reflection as well as a section dedicated to kids with questions or activities.

For the content of these cards I worked very closely with members of the community who provided the text.


Placemat created to resemble a board game, and used along with a game piece to help visualise at what point in the seder you are.

The illustrations in each step represent the essence of the rite, so even without reading from the cards you have a quick understanding of what elements are required for that step.

Having the story of the Exodus illustrated at the top of the mat, encourages kids to help tell the story.

Afikomen gift

At an early stage of the Seder, a piece of Matzah is hidden around the house, this is called Afikomen. Later on, during the main meal, kids are tasked with finding the Afikomen and the one who finds it gets a gift.

Personally, I thought this was such a nice mini game that I didn’t want those spending the dinner alone to miss out. For this reason, I decided to hide two afikomen within the illustration of the Exodus story, in the seder board.

Among the Seder cards there would be one which introduces the activity of finding the Afikomen and an extra element was added to the kit to act as a small present for having found it.

People I worked closely with

Members of the Chabad Islington Community
Ioana Nicolae - Photography

Other Work