Thanks to Andy Goldfarb, our Passover Seders will never be the same.
After you learn about Andy and his Breaking Matzo project, neither will yours.
Andy starts his Seder with a matzo-eating contest, asking everyone around the table to eat one piece of matzo as fast as they can without any water. “We have fun and understand at the same time what it is like to be thirsty and wander in the desert like the Israelites,” Andy told me earlier this week.
He also makes lucky matzo balls for his kids with an edible surprise inside. Pretty cool, right?
Andy launched Breaking Matzo this past Wednesday. We talked the day before the site went live.
(All photos courtesy of Breaking Matzo.)
Tell me about Breaking Matzo.
It’s an online resource to help you create lasting memories around your Passover Seder table. I wanted to share our family traditions and inspirations. I want everyone’s Passover to be magical, meaningful and memorable. I want to help you turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
The site has something for everyone. We’ve got four different kinds of Seders, from the kid friendly to the over-the-top, and recipes from the traditional to the modern. You’ll find a Passover song my kids love to the tune of ‘Oh My Darling, Clementine” and you’ll learn all about the five important women in the Passover story who made incredible contributions to the journey of the Israelites, freeing the Israelites from slavery.
Why did you start Breaking Matzo? What inspired you?
Passover has a special place in our family. It was my favorite holiday as a kid. Over the years, my children have helped me cook our special Passover recipes. We blast music in the kitchen and have so much fun cooking and preparing for the holiday as a family—my wife, my mother, all of our kids.
Our Seders run large and multi-generational, often with 25–30 people, and always include first time Passover celebrants.
Our kids help me with the Seder, bringing the Four Questions and the Ten Plagues to life (with finger puppets!), and each year the kids design a new cover for our annual Goldfarb Family Haggadah.
I grew up celebrating Passover with my great grandfather, Max Fish, in Baltimore, Maryland. I loved the family gathering and looked forward to it all year long.
All the snow we’ve had in Boston finally gave me the time to create the site.
How did you come up with the name Breaking Matzo?
“Breaking Matzo” is a playful twist on the classic phrase of sharing, “breaking bread” (except on Passover), and suggests sharing the Seder meal at the Seder Table with your family and friends.
It’s also about breaking a piece of matzo to create the Afikomen, one of the central miracles in the Passover narrative. The ritual we perform and the prayers we recite at every Seder take an ordinary, run-of-the-mill piece of matzo and transform it into something special.
When we break the matzo at our Seder, we truly set our own feet on the ancient journey from slavery to freedom, a journey that continues to resonate for each of us today.
Let’s talk charoset.
We make six kinds of charoset—Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Moroccan, Italian, Piedmontese, and Chinese. My goal is to celebrate the Jewish Diaspora. It’s about the universal message that all the people of the world, despite different flavors, share the common quest to escape from modern day slavery and return to our Promised Land.
What are your goals for Breaking Matzo?
I just want to help make Passover fun for everyone.
I believe that by making the holiday magical, memorable, and meaningful for all generations, we increase the likelihood of families continuing the Passover tradition, generations into the future.
Thanks so much Andy for sharing your family traditions with all of us. And thanks for making me super excited about my own seder this year. You’ve given me so many great new ideas. I can’t wait to share them with my family.
Be sure to also check out Breaking Matzo’s Instagram as well as their terrific YouTube cooking videos.