Passover seder for community to be held at Horizon |

Passover seder for community to be held at Horizon

Al Goldberg

Any interested person or family is invited to attend one of Temple Bat Yam’s major community events of the year – the traditional community Passover seder, scheduled the first night of the holiday, April 23, in the convention center of the Horizon Casino Resort.

Temple Bat Yam is the only Jewish institution serving Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, Carson City/Dayton, Minden/Gardnerville and the Carson Valley, and this is the only community seder in these communities.

To be led by Rabbi Jonathan Freirich, the event celebrates the exodus of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt nearly 4,000 years ago and delivery to the Promised Land under the leadership of Moses. The service, which begins promptly at 6 p.m., includes a traditional Passover meal prepared by Horizon banquet chefs under supervision of the temple. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Reservations are necessary in advance and may be made by calling the temple at (775) 588-4503. The cost for the event is $60 for adult non-temple members, $35 for non-member children 5 through 12 years of age and $15 for children ages 3 and 4. Children 2 and under are free. Temple members receive a reduced price. Membership information and applications will be available at the seder and anyone joining that night or in advance will receive the member price.

Seating must be guaranteed in advance by sending a check to the temple at P.O. Box 5099, Stateline, NV 89449. Visa and MasterCard also can be used. As in past years, guest and members can request reserved seating with family or friends.

The temple has created its own Passover seder service which combines modern elements with the traditional service and is designed to encourage meaningful participation by all attendees, regardless of age. An original Passover Haggadah (the booklet containing the service) has been created for this event, which includes lots of singing and other activities, especially for children. The seder meal, however, consists of traditional holiday fare, from matzoh ball soup and gefilte fish, to macaroons and cream puffs for dessert.

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April 23 marks the first night of the holiday, which lasts the next eight days. The Passover holiday has been celebrated by Jews worldwide for thousands of years and traditionally includes non-Jewish guests joining Jewish attendees because it has a relationship to both Judaism and Christianity. It was the Passover seder for which Jesus traveled to Jerusalem that is known as “the Last Supper.”

The Passover seder is the most widely celebrated of all Jewish holidays since it is done in the home or in community seders such as Temple Bat Yam’s, rather than in a synagogue or temple sanctuary. It focuses on food, family and social interaction in addition to religious aspects, plus it is traditional for Jews to share the holiday with non-Jewish family and friends.

Temple Bat Yam’s community seder has become so popular over the years that it attracts not only attendees from Tahoe and the Carson Valley served by the temple, but also vacationers from the Bay Area and as far away as New York, Florida and Israel.

Attendance traditionally numbers from 125 to 200, and because the holiday begins on a Saturday night this year, another large turnout is expected.