For the five children of Rabbi Eli Brackman and his wife Freidy, 30, Passover is a seven-day holiday in which they will eat delicious food, learn stories of how their ancestors fled slavery, and observe time-honoured traditions.

Jews celebrate the Feast of Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses.

And the Oxford Mail was invited to join the family of Rabbi Brackman at their home in Oxford, to observe the traditions of that festival which began in 1300BC.

Rabbi Brackman, 35, explained: “Passover is eagerly awaited in the Jewish community as a holiday when Jews from all walks of life come together to worship, eat special foods including matzo (unleavened bread), and spend time with their families.”

Children are central to Passover proceedings and symbolise the continuity of the Jewish people and many of the customs are designed to hold their attention. There’s the hunt for the afikomen, where a piece of matzoh is hidden which children have to find and hold ‘ransom’ until a reward is given.

And the youngest members of the family are also integral in the proceedings of the Seder – the Passover Meal.

Rabbi Brackman continued: “For Jewish children especially, this is an exciting time. In the weeks before Passover they will study the festival, make Passover plates which they will use at the Seder – and maybe even enjoy the chance to bake unleavened bread in a mobile matzo bakery. It is a very educational time, but one which they enjoy very much.”

Rabbi Brackman and his wife came to Oxford in 2001, when their oldest child, Musia, was a baby, and established the Chabad Jewish Centre in Cowley Road, which administers to the Jewish community, Oxford University’s large Jewish contingency and also the wider community.

Since then the Brackmans have gone on to have four more children – Mendel, eight, Chana, seven, Chavi, five and Shmuli, two.

Rabbi Brackman said: “Oxford has a sizeable, provincial Jewish community. And some of the 300 or so families have several generations living here; some Jews relocated to Oxford after the wartime bombing of London.

“I grew up in Edgware in London as part of a large Jewish family, and the annual holiday of Passover was an oppportunity for us to get together with our friends and community. Now I observe the same traditions of the festival with my wife and children, that my parents did with us.”

The Children of Israel had been slaves in Egypt for 210 years. God promised he would release them from slavery, but not before Pharaoh had refused their release and God had visited 10 plagues on Egypt: l The Plague of Blood: The River Nile and all Egypt’s water turned into blood The Plague of Frogs.

The Plague of Lice.

The Plague of Flies.

The Plague on Livestock.

The Plague of Boils.

The Plague of Hail.

The Plague of Locusts.

lThe Plague of Darkness.

The plague on the firstborn, when an angel went from house to house killing every first-born son. Israelite children were not be killed.

The Egyptians were terrified and demanded Pharaoh banish the Israelites. Pharaoh summoned Moses and ordered him to get his people out of Egypt immediately.

The Israelites took their unleavened dough with them – they hadn’t had time to add the yeast – and lived on this for the first few days of their Exodus.