I wanted to learn a little more about Passover so reached out to Alva Sachs, author of  "Dancing Dreidels,"  to find out about her...

Passover Interview with Alva Sachs and a Bonus Passover Recipe

I wanted to learn a little more about Passover so reached out to Alva Sachs, author of "Dancing Dreidels," to find out about her favorite Passover traditions and memories.

So many memories over all the years of celebrating Passover with my family and friends. I learned everything I know from my mother, whose recipes I still use to this day. For me, memories are vibrant from cooking special foods with my mother, eating matzah with jelly, and making fried matzah for breakfast. I learned to make my mother's chicken soup with noodles and matzo balls, which everyone loves. I make a special Passover sponge cake, and mandel bread, kind of like a biscotti. We also make matzah pizza with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake it in the oven. Yes, it is all about the food, sharing the history, and gathering with family and friends. Most families all have their traditions but they are all similar in nature. If you walk into someone else's house at Passover regardless of how they celebrate, you feel at home immediately. - Alva Sachs

 Alva explained a little more about the tradition of hiding the Afikoman:

There are traditionally three pieces of matzah at the middle of the Seder table; the middle one is called the afikomen and it's usually the part of Passover that kids most look forward to. Relatively early in the Seder, the afikomen is broken in two pieces; the bigger piece is wrapped in a napkin and hidden somewhere in the house. Some Jews see this as symbolic of the ultimate redemption from suffering, which comes at the end of the Seder; some see it as a reference to the Passover sacrifice that used to be offered at the ancient temple in Jerusalem; and some see it as a reminder that the poor must always set something aside for the next meal, or a reminder that there's always more to discover in life than what we know. For any kids at the table, though, it's a game: after the meal, they're sent running to hunt for the hidden afikomen. It's sort of like hide-and-seek, but with religious significance. The kids bring it back to the table and everyone shares a bite - sometimes after giving the child who found it a small reward, like a piece of candy or money.

Finally, Alva was kind enough to share her recipe for Matzah Candy with me!  

Matzo Candy


- 1/2 lb matzo

- 1 cup brown sugar

- 1 cup butter

- 12oz bag chocolate chips

- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

- 1 cup toffee candy pieces


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

2. Line a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan (or a large cookie sheet) with aluminum foil. Fill matzos in a single layer, covering the entire pan (some may be left over).

3. In a small pan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Boil until mixture coats a spoon, about 3-5 minutes. Pour mixture over matzo layer. Bake 4 minutes.

4. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake 12 minutes more. Remove from oven and gently spread melted chocolate to cover as completely as possible. Sprinkle with chopped nuts or candy as desired.

5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Break into pieces and store in the refrigerator. 

If you're looking for a good Passover book for kids, check out "Meet the Matzah" by Alan Silberberg.