GESHER: A BRIDGE HOME Invites You to Re-Live the Exodus Story at Its Three Sumptuous Passover Seders
Passover is the celebration of the Jewish people's (hi)story: a journey from slavery to freedom. Our identity as slaves who then become free is fundamental, and at the foundation of the Jewish people’s understanding of what creates holiness. From the Exodus, we learn empathy; we bond through pain and through our determination to journey forward, together, into the unknown.
Join Rabbi Gary Schoenberg and Rabbi Laurie Rutenberg at Gesher this spring, and bring the Passover story to life. We do it in our own folksy way, by offering our guests slave clothing, and experiencing the story of the Exodus, so that we can truly take on the traditional teaching of telling the story of journeying from slavery to freedom as if we, ourselves, had been slaves. We use green onions for whips, flee to an encampment that is directly in the middle of the parted Red (Reed) Sea, and reflect on our individual, family, and communal journeys from slavery to freedom.
Like any life journey, the Jewish people’s journey is only true when we acknowledge the losses, the yearning, the wisdom and the experiences that shape who we are. Gesher’s Passover Seders include a whimsical building of a
pyramid – and then the opportunity to tear down this monument of our slavery, using these same blocks to build anew the Wailing (Western) Wall of our people’s ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The experience of the Passover Seder culminates in a rekindling of hope. The celebration is an expression of our people recovenanting its partnership with what is holy. The Seder carries an underlying optimism that though our own times may (or may not) be dark, there is always a basis for believing in a brighter future.
Each Seder will be a piece of theatre, an opportunity for reflection and a sumptuous feast. As we take on as our own the traditional story of slavery in Egypt, we must also reflect on the enslavement of our own society and the
journey we must take in pursuit of freedom. It is hard to imagine that today’s seder would feel complete without wrestling with the challenges of Ferguson and New York City ("I can't breathe”); of Gaza and Jerusalem; of global warming; of increasingly glaring acts of anti-Semitism. At Gesher’s Seders, we will embrace these and other struggles, while sharing our reasons for hope.
Gesher will be hosting three Seders this Passover. The first night, Friday, April 3rd, is a Seder for community of souls of all ages and stages of life. The second night, Saturday, April 4th, is a Seder for families with young children. The last night of Passover, Friday, April 10th, is a Seder for singles and couples without children. Gesher especially welcomes those new to or not comfortable with Jewish life, and those who have felt distanced from the Jewish community. All loved ones in couples and families are warmly invited.