An annual tradition at City Winery locations in New York and Chicago since 2008, the Freedom Seder is a 90-minute interactive service that follows customs with a celebrity twist. The event will feature Israeli singer-songwriter David Broza, singer-activist Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary, and venue founder Michael Dorf.
Broza, Yarrow and other performers will sit among the guests and provide their own interpretations of the story of Exodus and the message of the journey from slavery to freedom.
“I grew up in Wisconsin in the ’60s and ’70s,” Dorf said. “My father, being a liberal secular Jew, incorporated Martin Luther King and other sorts of social justice readings into our seder. He made the concept of slavery more relevant to me as a very privileged white kid growing up in the suburbs.”
The Freedom Seder will be held on the second floor of Ponce City Market, 1½ miles from the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. on Auburn Avenue. Guests can expect to celebrate side by side with musicians, prominent Jewish Atlantans and seder leader Dorf.
Although many of the seder customs will be followed, such as drinking four cups of wine and reciting the Four Questions, Dorf has taken a few liberties with the service, including designing a custom haggadah.
“As a pragmatist and producer,” Dorf said, “to have 300 hungry Jews waiting for the meal is not the best way to put on a show. So we’ll have matzah and hummus out on tables family style. We do that so guests don’t get so hungry waiting for the meal during the presentation.”
What: City Winery Freedom Seder
Where: Ponce City Market, second floor (above Williams-Sonoma)
When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 17
Tickets: $145 (VIP) or $100, with a glatt kosher upgrade available for $25; www.citywinery.com/atlanta