Local college students shared the Passover holiday with their campus communities with two interfaith Sedarim – one at Bellarmine University with Campus Ministries facilitated by Rabbi Michael Wolk on Wednesday, April 6, and another at the University of Louisville with the Interfaith Center facilitated by Cantor Sharon Hordes on Wednesday, April 13.
Miriam Amchin, a senior at UofL and president of the UofL Hillel, shared, “I appreciate the interfaith Seder because not only does it give me the opportunity to share my religious practices with others; it also feeds me!”
For more than a decade at both schools, the interfaith Seder has become an annual tradition providing the opportunity for diverse faith communities to come together, learn about the Passover story and experience the Seder. About 30 students and staff from a variety of backgrounds attended each. Both included a Passover meal with matzah ball soup, afikoman search and active discussion.
Lilly Pinhas, a sophomore at Bellarmine and co-president of Bellarmine Hillel, reflected, “This year was different because we had a larger turn out and we tried to encourage more questions and discussion. I was really happy with the outcome of the event and got a lot of great reviews from friends who went.”
“This is one of my favorite events that we do in the Interfaith Center!” said UofL Campus Minister Sarah Fellows. “We are so grateful for the opportunity for our students to learn and have a great time – exploring traditions that are new to them but that also feel familiar in a variety of faith contexts. The cantor was fun and knowledgeable, she really helped the students engage in the experience.”
“We’ve been hosting Interfaith Seders at Bellarmine for the past 16 years,” noted Melanie-Prejean Sullivan, director of campus ministry. “We have worked with several representatives of the Jewish community and each one has been a wonderful experience for our students. It is especially gratifying when students see the connection between story and ritual – the human need to remember, especially how our respective traditions choose to use similar rituals to teach and transmit the story of redemption.
“I was especially pleased to observe how Benji facilitated the preparations and how our leaders, especially Lilly Pinhas, took the reins of guiding the Hillel students as they hosted a very successful Interfaith Seder,” she added. “And, thank you to Rabbi Wolk for his excellent facilitation.”
This Passover weekend, Louisville Hillel has been connecting students with community and home-hosted Sedarim throughout the Louisville community.