Passover at Temple Israel this year will be a celebration of the Israelites exodus from Egypt as its congregants prepare for an exodus of their own, from Cass Street to their new building at Sterling Ridge.
“Every year, we need, each one of us, to experience our slavery and our redemption,” Rabbi Aryeh Azriel said. “Being aware of our degradation thousands of years ago under Egyptian servitude and our miraculous salvation helps us to recognize communities that are today under siege. The Second Seder is an opportunity to celebrate as a community this powerful narrative.”
Following the Passover service on Tuesday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m., the congregation is invited to return to Temple Israel at 6 p.m. to enjoy a community seder on the second night of Passover, complete with all the fixin’s, including matzah ball soup, chicken, potato kugel and salad, with chocolate dipped macaroons for dessert, not to mention holiday favorites like charoses, gefilte fish and, of course, matzah.
Temple Israel will also welcome guests from its partners in the Tri-Faith Initiative, who will be invited to attend the seder.
“This year, as our tradition demands, we invite the stranger, the outsider, to share and learn about our deliverance,” Rabbi Azriel said. “We open our doors to small groups of participants from our Tri-Faith communities. The knowledge of freedom is a gift to be shared with our friends.”
Reservations are required to attend the seder and can be made by contacting Temple Israel at RSVP@templeisraelomaha.com or 402-556-6536. Dinner costs $23 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-12, with no charge for children 5 and under.
Volunteers are also needed on Monday, March 25, to help set up for the seder. If you would like to help out, contact Program Director Wendy Goldberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you would like to attend a seder on the first night of Passover, contact Wendy Goldberg and she will help you find a seat at a seder table.
Prior to the actual start of Passover, some of the younger students at the Temple Israel Religious School will be getting a head start on the festivities. On Sunday, March 24, both the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes, and the second graders, will be holding their own special seders from 11 a.m. to noon.
Cantor Wendy Shermet believes Passover is especially important for children to learn about and participate in.
“They should be grateful that they live in a country where they’re free to be a Jew,” she said. “Children naturally take things for granted, their toys, their homes, and it’s good for them to be reminded of where they come from and where they live.”
The families of PreK and kindergarten students are invited to join their children for a child-friendly seder and craft activity, while the second graders are asked to invite someone who is important to them, a family member, friend or teacher, to share their seder with.
At the end of Passover, on Monday, April 1, Temple Israel is hosting a matzah brei breakfast at 9:30 a.m., followed by a Yizkor service at 10:30 a.m. Those who would like to have names of loved ones read are asked to contact the Temple Israel office by March 31.