Volunteers Needed to Lead Model Seders at Area Churches for JCRC

Each year, churches from throughout our community contact the Jewish Community of Louisville and anxiously wait for their turn to host an Interfaith Model Seder for their members. The program, which is coordinated by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) relies on Jewish community volunteers to offer non-Jewish groups the opportunity to experience the beautiful Seder tradition in their own houses of worship.

This year, JCRC will be offering Seders to the community from March 21-April 10 (excluding Fridays and Saturdays). Dr. Ed Segal is chairing this year’s program and is looking for interested volunteers now.
“Leading an Interfaith Seder is a great way for us to forge important connections with those in the larger community who want to learn about our traditions,” says Segal. “It’s a lot easier and more fulfilling than it seems when you are just reading about it. The JCL offers how-to training classes, too, for those who would like to have them. I hope lots of people join us in this endeavor.”

“I really enjoy the Interfaith Seder program,” said Jeff Slyn, who notes he has “done them for years.” He enjoys the face-to-face interactions with others and the opportunity to bring Judaism to places where it is not traditionally found. “We are able,” he says, “to show Judaism in a good light and have a good time doing it.”

Churches put lots of energy into their Seders and those who attend have a real interest in the proceedings. “They welcome this opportunity and are very excited about learning,” said Jeff Barr, who has led Model Seders in the past. He explained that last year, church members’ interest in the Seder provoked questions that allowed him to share some of the things his family talks about at their Seder table. He called the experience “fun and rewarding for everyone involved. I enjoyed it,” he said.

“I see leading the Seders as a wonderful two-way learning experience,” say David Cooper. As one who has been involved in Interfaith dialogs over the years, Cooper says Model Seders “deepen awareness and respect between the faiths and provide a good way to explain Jewish beliefs and practices in a non-threatening way to people in the greater community.” He has been involved with the program over the years and plans to continue his participation in the future.Seder leaders can work alone or in teams, and families are welcome to participate. The JCRC handles the details and matches volunteers to the specific dates and locations best for them. They also supply Haggadot specifically written for the Model Seder experience along with matzah, Passover candy and Seder plates.

To sign-up as an Interfaith Model Seder Leader or to receive more information, please call Matt Goldberg at 618-5321.

Leon Wahba chairs the JCRC and Goldberg is the JCRC director.

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