A Weekend of Celebration
On Friday, April 6th, the Vancouver Unitarians celebrated their first Passover Seder/Dinner in a long time bringing together 42 folks from across the lower Mainland. The seder (or service) was brilliantly led by Rob Dainow, a self-declared JewNitarian. “I grew up in a Jewish family and now make my home in the Vancouver Unitarians community. We always celebrate the main Jewish holidays in my family and it was very nice to share the Passover holiday this year with so many at our UCV seder. Passover is a celebration of the Jews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt in ancient times; the importance of observing it every year is to tell and retell this story so that we will not forget that we were once slaves and that people continue to be enslaved in many ways today. I was especially happy to share this event and its meaning and traditions with so many who were participating in a seder for the first time.”
Vivian Davidson, one of the key organizers added, “Indeed it was such a great event, attended by so many remarkable people, where wonderful food, stories, communion were shared. Everybody did such a great job who helped plan and execute that event that I know many people appreciated having attended including me. I really treasured being able to be part of putting it together.” For many, like Vivian, it was their first experience of a seder.
Mary Bennett went on to say, “That was just my second passover seder ever and I really appreciated all the efforts put in by so many. Ever since joining the Unitarians and learning…a bit and then a bit more…about Jewish customs, I’ve been quite drawn to them. I like ceremony and ritual and “living traditions” – I love that I now know that people treat the Hagaddah (the book which guides the service and tells the Exodus story) as a changeable script open to new examples and traditions.”
Friday’s celebration of freedom led the way to an intense weekend of fostering connections. The lead-up to the following day’s Lower Mainland conference. A most uplifting and joyous event!
Submitted by Sheila Resels (on behalf of the Passover Planning Team/Jewish Holidays Planning Team).