Tag: Jewish

A Weekend of Celebration

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).

Jewish Celebrations

Jewish Celebrations at UCV

Our congregation had a very successful Hanukkah party on December 9th with 60 people including about a dozen kids of all ages. There were dreidls and menorahs and yes, latkes! (Thanks, Patti, Tara and Elliott).

One of the biggest successes is that there’s an enthusiastic group of Unitarians with Jewish roots who then organized a Passover dinner.

Come along whether your background is Jewish or you just want to learn more–and enjoy a celebratory dinner with other Unitarians and their friends and families.

Link to Passover Seder/Dinner Event with details.

Rosh Hashanah 2018 will begin in the evening of Sunday, September 9 and ends in the evening of Tuesday, September 11.

Unitarian-Jewish connections

You might be interested in these links to learn more about how Unitarianism and Judaism have

connections. Our congregation hasn’t regularly offered gatherings to celebrate Jewish holidays in recent years, but now there does seem to be some enthusiasm for doing so.

Jewish Unitarian Universalists

From: https://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/beliefs/judaism

Many Unitarian Universalists (UUs) have a connection to Judaism. Whether we are ethnically, culturally, or spiritually Jewish, whether we’re married to a Jewish person, or simply inspired by Jewish wisdom, we have a place in Unitarian Universalism. One of the six sources we draw upon in our worship and religious education is “Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves.”

We honour Jewish holidays with a progressive and inclusive twist. UUs with Jewish heritage hold Passover seders, celebrate Hanukkah, and mark the High Holy Days. When we worship together, Judaism comes into play in a variety of ways depending on the congregation. In the fall our Sunday services often draw on themes from Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Our winter holiday-themed services often tell the story of Hanukkah. In the spring, we tell the stories of Moses and the Exodus, and some congregations gather around an all-ages all-faiths table to join in a celebratory Passover Seder led by Jewish UUs. Any time of year in our congregations, we may hear wisdom from the Bible, some midrash, a Hasidic tale, or a funny story from Jewish culture.

From UUA

Passover Seder in Unitarian Universalist congregations


From:  Unitarian Universalists for Jewish Awareness



 Dayenu ( a Passover homily) Rev. Marti Keller
• Daiyenu: What is Sufficient? A Jewish UU’s Struggle with Passover Lori Rottenberg and Rev. Lynn Thomas Strauss

Rosh Hashanah

 Homily for Rosh Hashanah 2012 Rev. Marti Keller
 We Begin Again, in Love Rev. Barabara Wells
 A New Year… and a New Chapter by Rabbi Howard A. Berman

Yom Kippur

• Atonement – Making Things Right Rev. Paul Oakley



Here’s a personal essay on “being both” Unitarian and Jewish.