NEW ROCHELL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The Jewish holiday of Passover starts Friday night.

Some Westchester County nursery school students got a jump start with a model seder Wednesday.

As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported, the harmony of the holiday echoed from the Bethel Synagogue Center in New Rochelle, as the children learned about and prepared for Passover.

Asked what they like about the holiday, one student replied “matzah.”

“I like the grape juice,” another added.

“I like to be with my family,” said another.

Passover commemorates the freedom of the Jews from slavery in ancient Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. A seder is a ceremonial dinner where the story is told in song, word and food.

The children indulged in traditional treats, such as gefilte fish, matzah balls and matzah — unleavened bread.

“The Torah tells us that the Israelites left Egypt in a hurry and so therefore they didn’t have enough time to allow the bread they had with them rise, and therefore it remained unleavened,” Assistant Rabbi Zach Sitkin explained.

As such, the children then gathered outside for the tradition of burning the chametz, removing any leavened bread, cereal and grain found in their homes.

“We only eat matzah on Passover,” one student said.

Passover begins at sundown Friday and lasts for eight days.

For the children, it’s a time of learning and joy.


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