Seder plate stories

Gay Goldenberg seder plate

Ellen Futterman, Editor

When we asked readers to send us unique and/or interesting stories about their favorite seder plate, we weren’t sure what we would get back. But luckily, a few had some entertaining tales to tell.

From Gay Goldenberg, 72, of Town & Country, a B’nai Amoona congregant:

When my husband, Larry, and I were in Venice, Italy, in the early 90s, we went to the Jewish ghetto. There was a little Judaica shop with a lot of glass and ceramic items, including seder plates and kiddush cups. When I saw a seder plate I liked I showed it to the shop keeper, who also happened to be an artist who made many of the items in the shop, and he said that he would make one and send it to us. 

It arrived in the mail two or three weeks later and was personalized on the back to us by the artist. I’ve used it for 25 years and wrap it in Saran so that the paint, which is raised on the plate, doesn’t chip. I don’t read Hebrew so every year my kids have to tell me what goes where on the plate. 

We used to alternate hosting seders with my sister-in-law Jan Baron and now her daughter, my niece, does it. So the seder plate gets used every other year or every year if my kids decide they are not going to their in-laws.


From Laurie Miller, 67, University City: 

I attended Temple Emanuel in the ’60s because my parents sent me. I didn’t want to be there at all.  It was a confusing contradiction to me. We were Reform Jews, celebrating Christmas and Easter and never Passover or other Jewish holidays.

I was about 12 years old when I made (my one and only favorite seder plate) in Sunday school art class. I believe Byron Sachar was my Sunday school teacher.

I often wonder why I’ve saved it all these 50-plus years.Other than the chip on the edge, it’s brand new, as in never used!

However, recently a group of friends on a Zoom call decided to have a seder for our next video chat and I proudly offered to bring the wine and seder plate. I’m looking forward to removing it from the cabinet and having it as the centerpiece of my first seder, after all these years.


From Marian Gordon, executive director of Traditional Congregation:

My Lenox china seder plate was given to me 40 years ago by a dear friend, who is not Jewish.  It was a wedding gift when I married the first time around.  I ditched that husband long ago but kept the seder plate, and my (permanent) husband (Rabbi Seth Gordon) and I have used it for every seder for the past 32 years (except for the one year we were in Israel for Pesach).

From what I can see online, Lenox is no longer making this particular seder plate; I still think it is one of the most beautiful around. And yes, although my friend and I have been geographically separated for many years, we are still in touch, thanks to the magic of Facebook!


From Wende Pearlmutter Meissner, 49, University City: 

I have one that my great grandfather made and then my grandfather used and was passed down to me. I don’t know how the plate broke. Probably from many years of use.

My great grandfather came to America in the early 1900 and made enough to have his wife and the kids come over. My grandpa Morrie Pearlmutter was born here. He was one of the founders of the St. Louis Jewish Light.