In keeping with Passover tradition, Hillel House is inviting all members of the BU community to attend seder meals, which reflect broader human ideals as they commemorate the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Pharaoh’s Egypt.
“We have many students who are not Jewish come to experience the cultural ritual or who want to support their friends observing the holiday,” says Kip Lombardo, director of student activities at Hillel House.
Seders are special meals eaten on the first two nights of the eight-day festival of Passover. During the seder ritual, the story of Passover is told around a table laden with symbolic foods, such as a chopped apple, nut, and wine mixture representing the mortar used by enslaved bricklayers, and unleavened bread, or matzoh, symbolizing the haste with which the Israelites made their exodus across the desert. Seder guests sing songs and read aloud from the Haggadah, a book filled with stories, poems, and rabbinical insights. The seder is an integral part of the Jewish faith, a time to give thanks for the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt and achieving freedom.
“The seder is the focal point of the Passover celebration,” Lombardo says.
Although seders are especially important to those observing the holiday, Lombardo believes that non-Jewish members of the BU community will gain something from the experience as well.
As a Catholic, Danielle Letayf (CAS’13) celebrates Easter, but is planning to attend one of the seder meals. “A couple of my friends who are Jewish told me about the seders,” she says, “and I thought they sounded really interesting, so I decided to go with them. I’m excited to experience something that’s so different from my family’s traditions.”
Hillel House will be hosting seders the first two nights of Passover, Monday, March 29, and Tuesday, March 30, with traditional, egalitarian, and liberal seder leaders, including Virginia Sapiro, dean of Arts & Sciences.
The BU Kosher Dining Hall at the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House, 213 Bay State Rd., will serve kosher for Passover meals all eight days of the holiday. Sign up for the seders or any meal here. Student meal cards or credit cards may be used.