Religions and Spirituality

West Orange Synagogues to Offer Pre-Passover Events and Community Seders

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Children make their own matzah covers for the seder during the Passover Crafting activity at Bnai Shalom. Credits: Alan Grossman
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Bnai Shalom Board member Paula Lipkin, second from left, shows young families how to make Rocky Road Matzah Crunch Bars for Passover. Credits: Alan Grossman
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Bnai Shalom education director Rena Casser helps kids make charoset, which includes grated apples, raisins, grape juice and cinnamon. Credits: Alan Grossman
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WEST ORANGE, NJ – With Passover fast approaching on the evening of March 30, synagogues throughout West Orange are helping people prepare for the holiday by inviting the public to attend community Seders.

B’nai Shalom, located at 300 Pleasant Valley Way, kicked off its pre-Passover events on March 11 with its first Passover Cooking & Crafting for Kids “Gift-it-4Ward” event. The synagogue’s education director Rena Casser showed the children how to make Rocky Road Matzah Crunch Bars and the matzah pizza during the “Cooking for Kids – Passover Style” session. Then they made their own Elijah’s cup and matzah cover for the Seder.

This Shabbat, on March 24, young people from throughout the community are welcome to join in at B’nai Shalom’s Chocolate Seder from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For adults, the synagogue is offering two lectures on “The Four Questions and More…” that will feature Rabbi Emeritus Stanley Asekoff. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held on Friday, March 23, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 24 at 1 p.m.

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Among the questions that Rabbi Asekoff will address include, “What is the ‘spiritual secret’ hidden in the Seder rituals?” and, “What role does this play in our search for meaning in our lives?”

In his invitation to the community, Rabbi Asekoff wrote, “I will explore this and many other questions that we don’t think to ask, but that we need to be answered to enrich the meaning of our Passover celebration and Seder experience.”

For those looking to join with others at the second Seder, B’nai Shalom will be hosting one for the community on Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m. Rabbi Robert Tobin will lead what he promises will be a “meaningful, delicious and family friendly Seder” featuring songs, games and prizes.

To learn more about any of the B’nai Shalom Passover activities, contact Leslie Gleaner at 973-731-0160 ext. 207 or programs@bnaishalom.net. To register online for the events, go to www.bnaishalom.net/events.php#events.

Chabad of West Orange, 401 Pleasant Valley Way, is holding a Passover Community Seder at 8 p.m. on the first night of Passover, Friday, March 30. Included in the Seder will be a handmade “shmurah” matzo, wine and a homemade meal hosted by Rabbi and Mrs. Mendy Kasowitz.

“Passover is not simply a celebration of the historic liberation of an ancient people,” Rabbi Kasowitz, director of Chabad of West Orange, wrote in his invitation to the community. “Passover is about our own personal liberation – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Passover inspires us to break free from the shackles restraining us from reaching new heights in our lives, relationships and connection with God.”

To learn more about this Seder, call 973-325-6311 or make an online reservation at www.chabadwestorange.com/seder.

Anyone who wants to bake their own matzah is invited to do so at the Model Matzah Bakery on Sunday, March 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will hear an interactive Pesach story in addition to a matzah-baking experience.

Chabad of West Orange will host this program, which is a joint project of Congregation Ohr Torah, Chabad of West Orange and Congregation Ahawas Achim Bnai Jacob and David (AABJ&D). To learn more about this program, contact youth@congregationohrtorah.org.

Those who want to help a family in need who cannot afford foods that are kosher for Passover can support the Chabad of West Orange’s Pesach Food Campaign by going to www.chabadwestorange.com/donate.

In addition, Rabbi Tobin recorded his recent class for anyone who needs advice on Passover preparations. His video can be seen below:

 

Video Credit: Bnai Shalom West Orange, NJ

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