Jewish Journal

‘Breaking Matzo’ Celebrates Magic of Passover

Screenshot from Facebook.

By day, Andy Goldfarb is a busy venture capitalist in Brookline, Mass. By night, or when the divorced dad of two daughters has a free moment, he focuses on Breaking Matzo, his 15-year-old passion project.

Breaking Matzo is a website (breakingmatzo.com) designed to help people have more enjoyable Passover celebrations. It includes recipes, DIY projects, a glossary of Passover terms, and educational articles and videos.

“As a venture capitalist, I invest in the dreams of entrepreneurs and delight in the fruition of their vision,” Goldfarb, 50, told the Journal. “That’s one kind of magic. But as a father, I believe in another kind of magic. The magic of sharing holidays and life events with my children.

“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.”

Growing up, Goldfarb spent Passover with his great-grandfather Max Fish in Baltimore. He looked forward year-round to the celebration with his family. Breaking Matzo is full of traditions from Goldfarb’s family, information from Jewish books and materials that friends have sent to Goldfarb over the years. Goldfarb said he chose the name for several reasons: It refers to the classic Passover game in which adults break the afikomen and then the kids search for it; it’s a twist on “breaking bread,” which is about gathering with friends and family and sharing a meal; and, according to the website, the name made people laugh.

Breaking Matzo also has a thriving Facebook fan page (facebook.com/breakingmatzo), with more than 39,000 followers. Some of the recent recipes posted include a chocolate matzo mousse cake, Piedmontese charoset and “Grandma Boody’s Brisket.”

If readers want to DIY their way through a Pinterest-like Passover, they can make a Passover Gnome Garden complete with parsley (karpas) sprigs, which look like plants growing in a garden. There’s also a page devoted to creating painted wine glasses for Eliyahu and Miriam.

Goldfarb’s daughter, Caroline, a senior at Harvard University, said she is a huge fan of her father’s website. Every Passover, she cooks with her father, and she has made every DIY project on the site.

“It’s been truly incredible watching my dad grow Breaking Matzo,” she said. “Activities and recipes that I used to make as a child are now being made by kids all over the country and all over the world. I love seeing photos and stories from hundreds of people about their traditions, and learning how they have used the information, recipes and activities on Breaking Matzo to make their holidays even more special.”

Breaking Matzo also has a thriving Facebook fan page. Some of the recent recipes posted include a chocolate matzo mousse cake, Piedmontese charoset and “Grandma Boody’s Brisket.”

Another avid reader of the site, Shelby Ward of Mississippi, said Breaking Matzo has helped her and her Christian partner connect with the Jewish faith. They follow the Facebook page and make the recipes. Because the site also has separate web pages that cover general information on various aspects of Jewish life, Ward and her partner also use it to learn more about Judaism.

“Since my knowledge of Judaism was limited until three years ago, social media has been a valuable tool in my quest to learn more,” Ward said.

Goldfarb said he is planning to expand Breaking Matzo to add Shabbat as the next holiday. “Some day,” he added, “I hope to compile it all into a cookbook.”

For now, he’s focused on making the upcoming Passover as special as possible. He will invite his usual 25 to 30 friends and family members, as well as people who have never celebrated Passover.

Everyone will eat his family’s classic recipes, as well as read about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. “and other incredible people who have fought for justice and equality, even in the face of grave danger,” Caroline said. “The Passover meal gives us a special time to reflect on the meanings of justice, hope and equality, all while gathered with family and friends.”