Tonight, Wednesday, Jews people around the world will start to celebrate the festival of Pesach (Passover). This always commences with the Seder – families come together for a service and meal based around recounting the story of the exodus from Egypt. Sadly, given the lockdown, it will not be possible for people to do this with anyone outside their immediate household this year. There are though some ways you can come together and hold a digital Seder.
Zoom is the most obvious way for a larger group of people to videoconference together. Setting it up is relatively easy. There have unfortunately been tales of so-called “Zoombombing” – people crashing into a Zoom room to hijack the conversation and harangue participants. There are examples of anti-Semitic abuse happening this way too. To conduct your digital Seder in peace make sure you lock the meaning when everyone is there. You should also use a unique meeting password. PCMag has some other good tips about keeping your Zoom meetings safe, My colleague Andrew has also published some alternatives that don’t come with the privacy baggage that Zoom does.
Houseparty allows up to 10 people to participate in a video conversation. It’s much more fun and informal, and involves less setting up than Zoom, but you might not be able to get the whole family involved! Again, if you use Houseparty, make sure you lock your conversation by tapping the padlock icon at the bottom of your screen.
Up to 32 people can participate in a Group FaceTime call. Press the + sign at the top to keep adding people. Make sure you have your camera on by selecting the video option when you launch a call or tapping the camera icon.
- Don’t talk over each other – easier said than done in a loud family environment! Try and allow for any lag between people before replying.
- Mute your mic – If you’re not talking or reading a certain part of the Seder service mute that mic. The mute mic button is prominently displayed in all the applications I listed above.
- Check your camera angle – Nobody wants to look up your nose!