The ethics of Pesach – let those who are hungry come and eat — is in one way simple to recite, yet not easy to accomplish. How can we offer our family and friends a meal that commemorates the passage from slavery to freedom, yet offer a contemporary approach to help those who have their own slavery to overcome?
Our young grandchildren, who live out of town, will be at our home for the first night seder. We must make it both approachable and relevant to them at this young age to begin the education process of how to make the commemoration an ongoing joy and responsibility.
“Passover Sticker Scenes” is one of a number of toys now on the market to help explain and prepare kids for seder. We will do our best to make this fun for them and assist them in understanding this is their heritage to embrace.
On the sixth night of Pesach (April 24), we take a different tack by understanding the modern-day plagues that can afflict a community. JCRC [Jewish Community Relations Council], Ahavath Achim Synagogue, The Temple, Temple Sinai, Shearith Israel and numerous other Jewish and general community institutions will hold the ninth annual Hunger Seder. (Go to AA’s website to register – all are invited). We teach and learn about some of the causes and effects of hunger and food insecurity. We also study some of the ways to help combat this plague.
This year’s theme is the impact that hunger and food insecurity has on nutrition and health. We are partnering with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Grady Hospital, and other food programs. Grady and the Food Bank have programs that work on creating a healthy, nutritious approach to overcoming the issue of hunger.
Rabbi Laurence Rosenthal is again leading the Hunger Seder, and he will have lots of help from the planning committee and with facilitators who will make the seder as meaningful as possible. And any food left over will be delivered the next day for dinner at Trinity House, a residential program for men located downtown. Last year, a half dozen of us delivered food there and spent two hours (having another seder meal) and listening to the stories of people who are working hard to overcome years of difficulty in establishing themselves. A most meaningful way to commemorate the journey from slavery to freedom. Please join us.
Harold Kirtz is president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta.