Strake, St. Thomas, Emery/Weiner Students Celebrate Passover Seder (with photos)

April 7, 2009

Students from diverse religious backgrounds came together Monday at The Emery/Weiner School for Passover Seder.  12th grade students from Emery/Weiner, a predominantly Jewish school, led the Seders, attended by students from Strake Jesuit, St. Thomas High School, and Emery/Weiner.  This interfaith Seder was designed to bring students from different religious backgrounds together to celebrate a story they all share.

Students Sam Sirotkin, Alex Sacks, and Paul Rothenberg; and (background, L-R) students Leanna Ross and Ariel Stolbun remove drops of “wine” from their cups while reciting the ten plagues as part of the interfaith Passover Seder.

Students Sam Sirotkin, Alex Sacks, and Paul Rothenberg; and (background, L-R) students Leanna Ross and Ariel Stolbun remove drops of “wine” from their cups while reciting the ten plagues as part of the interfaith Passover Seder.

 

During the first night of Passover, a Seder, or Passover meal, occurs to commemorate the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt.  The Seder includes telling the story of the exodus, eating unleavened bread called matzo, and the recitation of a blessing.

 

As Strake Jesuit and St. Thomas Episcopal students arrived, they received nametags and were assigned a classroom for the Seder, where Emery/Weiner students had already prepared the Seder table.  As students took turns recounting the story of Exodus, they broke matzo together, ate bitter herbs and eggs, and partook of other Passover symbols such as Passover “wine” (fruit juice was a natural substitute for this underage celebration).

 

Interfaith Seders have served to bring people of different backgrounds together in this country since the days of the Civil Rights movement.  The most significant of these Seders was the 1969 Freedom Seder, held a year after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, which connected the struggle of African Americans with the Ancient Israelites’ struggle for freedom.

 

“My hope is that this event, along with the others we’ve put together this year, will open the door wider for interfaith dialogue among our youth in this city,” said Rabbi Maccabee Avishur, Emery/Weiner’s Director of Judaics and the coordinator of the Seder.

Erin Scheinthal and Mandy Stein lead an Interfaith Passover Seder for students at Strake Jesuit, St. Thomas and Emery/Weiner.

Erin Scheinthal and Mandy Stein lead an Interfaith Passover Seder for students at Strake Jesuit, St. Thomas and Emery/Weiner.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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