Compassionate Communities Project hosts Jewish Passover Seder

The Compassionate Communities Project is hosting a Jewish Passover Seder in Courtenay March 28.

Have you ever wondered what the Jewish celebration of Passover is all about?

What is the symbolic meaning of the ritual, the matzah, the karpas, and the bitter herbs? How does this central, annual event in the life of the Jewish community lead to building and sustaining community?

Why not set aside the evening of March 28 to find out?

The Compassionate Communities Project is hosting a Jewish Passover Seder at Zocalo Café that will give the Comox Valley an opportunity to experience this important Jewish celebration, including the full ritual and story, and the important festival meal (non-kosher).

All done with a special focus on compassion and building a more compassionate community.

Organized by the Community Justice Centre, the event is part of the Interfaith Bridging program, which seeks to establish links of understanding between faith groups and various agencies and groups exploring ways to reduce the hurtful impacts of racism and hatred.

This event will also feature Canada’s first ordained female Jewish storyteller Shoshana Litman, telling several stories focusing on the Exodus and the expression of compassion.

In addition to Litman, Judy Goldschmidt and Bruce Curtis of the CJC’s Compassionate Communities Aijia Project will assist in leading the ritual.

Aijia Dycke, Graham Needham, and Josie Patterson (and one other), each very active in the Comox Valley musical theatre community, will be there to ask the Four Questions and help lead the singing.

The Seder ritual has been specially written to draw attention to the desire for a more compassionate society and relates it to the Exodus story of the escape from slavery to freedom. And, as with most Jewish festival events, there will be plenty of group singing and talking and discussing.

The Seder is an inclusive and respectful and joyous event, open to the whole community — you don’t have to be Jewish to find this a powerful and meaningful evening. It  will leave you moved and more fully aware of the cultural and religious roots of a Jewish understanding of the world.

In the context of an increasingly diverse and multicultural community, a deeper understanding of how and what our neighbours find meaningful in their lives can expand our own capacities to understand and be more compassionate towards one another.

Each participant will receive a souvenir printed copy of the seder ritual and each table will have the opportunity to participate in the readings, discussions and general good fun.

Tickets for the event are available from Zocalo Café, Laughing Oyster Bookshop, and the Community Justice Centre, but must be purchased before March 25.

— Compassionate Communities Project

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