26th Annual Community Seder








Our 26th annual Seder was another wonderful example of our community coming together to share our traditions, and to consider the ways in which our connection to Jewish ritual can inform or inspire our efforts for justice today.

This year's Seder theme was immigration. The four cups of wine were dedicated to immigration-related issues, such as escaping oppression, cultural diversity, and activism - and we took the opportunity to reflect on the immigrant history of the Workmen's Circle as well. We broke the middle matzah into the afikomen with hardships of immigration in mind - as the Haggadah said, "dividing the matzah...reminds us of the forced division of communities and families due to disappearances, detention, and deportation." And at the end of the seder, children hunted down not one, but eleven afikomen, each of which was wrapped in paper with a letter on it that, all together, spelled out "Immigration."

In addition to themes of immigration, this year's Haggadah also featured readings and blessings in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, and Ladino, as well as readings from the Koran. You can download a pdf of this year's Boston Workmen's Circle Haggadah here.

Alongside the traditional matzah, egg, maror, salt water, charoset, and parsley, our Seder plate featured an orange in solidarity with LGBT Jews, an olive to symbolize our hope for Middle East peace, and a beet and a clay shankbone (made by our first-grade Shule class) in place of an animal shankbone. Click here to read about last year's community discussion about dietary choices, food justice, and animal rights that contributed to our use of non-animal-based shankbones.

On a more logistical note - we continue to enjoy our new and more spacious Seder venue. We welcomed 225 people of all ages, 90 of whom were Shule parents and students! Big thanks to our Seder coordinators Alice Rothchild, Jenny Hochstadt, Lois Glass, Laurie Livingston, and Riva Stein, and to the many volunteers who  helped with shopping, setup, and cleanup.

Would you like to help create next year's Seder - or any of the many holiday celebrations and Shabes dinners between now and then? Contact the office to get involved in our ritual committee.