Make Matzo for Money

By Eric Hammer

For about eight months out of the year, it's possible to make money when you make matzo. While the cracker like "bread" is primarily eaten only for the Passover holiday, it is sold year 'round and the runup to Passover begins sometime around September, meaning that you'll have lots of time to make matzo for money. How does it work? Here's what you need to know:

For those not familiar with the stuff, matzo is a kind of cracker which is eaten on Passover by Jews all over the world. It is intended to be a reminder of the exodus from Egypt as described in the bible, since according to the bible, the ancient Israelites didn't have time to bake bread before they raced out of Egypt. Thus the dough they were carrying baked on their backs in the sun without rising.

Religious Jews will eat matzo for the entire eight day holiday, however even secular Jews will generally have matzo for the first and sometimes second nights of Passover when they hold a Passover "seder" (kind of like Christmas dinner for Jews, though it's held in the spring and there are many more rules than Christmas dinner would have. Though the concept is similar - the entire family gathers for this annual rite). Those who know how to make matzo can make some good money from doing it.

How Much Can You Make?

Matzo factories start operating around September or so and stockpile the crackers until Passover (they tend to last a long time since they're made with just flour and water) and typically pay anywhere from $10-$25 per hour depending on how experienced you are and how much competition there is for the jobs in your area.

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This job is generally open only to religious Jews. While anyone can work in a major matzo factory, if you want to make matzo by hand (which is where the real money is since the work is very labor intensive and thus the prices are quite high), they generally prefer to hire observant Jews who will continually say "leshem mitzvah matzo," meaning for the sake of the commandment of matzo. This statement gives the matzo extra holiness and is considered to be one which can only be uttered by a Jew.

Non Jews can sometimes work even in hand matzo factories, however you'll usually not be given the job to make matzo yourself. Your job will likely be something ancillary. In all cases, you'll need to be prepared for hard work as it's not easy to make matzo. You need to constantly roll out the dough and do it quickly, rushing the crackers into a super heated oven. The key to this is that the matzo must be made with 18 minutes from the moment the water hits the dough to the time it actually hits the oven.

Qualifications / Requirements

Generally, you can land a job where you make matzo if you are Jewish and observant, though they generally prefer to hire those with experience.

First Steps

Start by checking with your local rabbi where the nearest matzo factory is and contact them to find out how you can get a job making matzo.


Check out these helpful resources to learn more about how to make matzo for money:

Jewish Magazine: Hand Made Matzot - This is a visual tour of what's involved in making matzo. While it doesn't tell you how to get a job doing it, the tour is an excellent visual aid for those interested in this job.

New York Times: Before School Ends, Time to Make Matzo - Another article about making matzo. In this case, about a special program in New York City for children to experience what it's like to make matzo.

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