The 4 Questions, Grateful Dead Style

05/04/2016 - 09:39

‘Why can’t we eat veggie burritos tonight? Will I be miracled? Will they play ‘The Wheel?’ Will Phil sing?”

Phil Lesh lights the candles as Jeannette Ferber sings the blessing at Marin County seder. © Bob Minkin Photography

NY Mosque Hosts Seder For Jews, Muslims

04/21/2016 - 12:38

Some 100 Jews and Muslims participated in a Passover celebration at a Manhattan mosque.

Jews and Muslims participate in a seder at the Islamic Society of Mid Manhattan organized by NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity. JTA

A Fifth Seder Question, A Life Together

Rabbinical student pops the question to HUC-JIR classmate; her answer was ‘yes!’

04/14/2016 - 13:15
Special to The Jewish Week

Max and I, fellow rabbinical students at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on the Cincinnati campus, dated for less than two years before our engagement. Max, who had thought for months about how he would achieve a meaningful proposal, finally decided that Pesach was going to be the perfect opportunity.

Max Miller popping the question to Rachael Klein at family seder.

Keeping The Kids Connected At The Seder

04/12/2016 - 13:28
Staf Writer

Rabbi Paul Kipnes, spiritual leader of Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, Calif., and his wife, Michelle November, a high school admissions officer and former national college director of the Union for Reform Judaism, are authors of a new book, “Jewish Spiritual Parenting: Wisdom, Activities, Rituals and Prayers for Raising Children with Spiritual Balance and Emotional Wholeness” (Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Paul Kipnes and Michelle November.

At Virginia Seder, A Unique Flavor Of Slavery

Historic university reinforces students’ understanding of Passover theme

04/06/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

Williamsburg, Va. — The students at the second-night seder here at the College of William and Mary this week didn’t have to go far for a reminder of slavery, one of the ritual meal’s main themes.

The Wren Building on the campus of William and Mary, which was built by slaves in the 17th century. Wikimedia Commons

All Are Welcome At The Seder

In your mind’s eye, look around at those with whom you have celebrated past Seders. 

A contemplative girl is full of questions: How could a respected family in Egypt so quickly become an enslaved nation? Why was Pharaoh so stubborn?

There’s the "Squirmer." If he doesn’t declare outright that he’d rather not be at the Seder, his body language clearly broadcasts the message.

Seated next to each other are two frustrated guests. One is always losing his place in the Haggadah, and the other’s eyes often stray to the kitchen.

During its recounting of the Exodus from Egypt, the Haggadah “pauses” to consider Seder participants resembling those described above. They are portrayed as four sons: one wise, one wicked, one simple and one who doesn’t know how to ask. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

If Elijah Arrived In A Wheelchair, Could You Welcome Him To Your Seder?

If Elijah had a disability would he be welcomed at your Seder? During Passover we traditionally have a cup of wine at our Seder table for Elijah and we open the door to let him in. Could he get into your home or the place in which you celebrate the Passover holiday? If Elijah used a wheelchair or had other ambulation challenges could he get in?  Would you invite him in if he looked different or sounded unusual when he spoke? Could he participate in the rituals of Passover if he could not read the Haggadah? (For people who do not read or read well there is now an adapted Haggadah.)

Seder2015 Brings Passover Into The Digital Age

03/25/2015 - 20:00

An appreciation for classics and architecture does not necessarily foster interest in the Passover seder.

Participants at one of Michael Hebb’s “test” seders use the resources from (Scott Macklin)

Women’s Voices Rise At Woodstock Seder

Acted-out Haggadah brings Exodus story’s forgotten females to the fore.

03/23/2015 - 20:00
Staff Writer

As a “new Jew,” a recent convert to Judaism, Desiree O’Clair was first exposed to the Passover seder a few years ago, at friends’ holiday tables. She then tried her hand at leading her own seders, and decided, “I have to learn how to do this properly.”

Rabbi Aura Ahuvia, spiritual leader of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation. Courtesy of Miriam’s Well

A Seder In ‘Paradise’

03/23/2015 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I first came to Bonaire, a Dutch Caribbean island near Curacao, more than 30 years ago. I was treating myself to a vacation where no one knew me and I was far away from the stressful life in the “big city.”

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