Passover/Pesach

Understanding the Refugee Experience Through the Seder

The Passover home service called the seder sets out a set of four questions that highlight the differences between the Passover meal and any other family dinner.  These questions are meant to be discussion starters on the themes of slavery and freedom, power and redemption, and how a people who were once slaves must pledge to help end the human suffering from slavery and oppression.

As we sit down at the Seder and begin the telling of our exodus from Egypt and from slavery, we declare “Let all who are hungry enter and eat, and all who are needy come and celebrate”. Later we are commanded to see ourselves as though we each came out of Egypt.

Think for a moment about what it would have been like leaving Egypt after Pharaoh and the Egyptians had enslaved your family and released you only after suffering the ten plagues. You would be fleeing a hostile, sometimes deadly environment, with only the possessions you could carry and headed into the unforgiving desert and the unknown beyond. You are a refugee.

Much has been written about taking this opportunity of remembrance and role-playing to better understand the current refugee crisis. By bringing current world events into your Seder, you reinforce the universality and timelessness of this Jewish ritual. The links below can be a way for you to say “Why is this Seder different from the seder of past years?”   


HIAS: As we celebrate the Jewish people’s biblical exodus from Egypt, we remember that there are 65 million displaced people around the world, people fleeing violence and persecution in search of a safe place to call home. We are currently in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Read more and print the HIAS Hagaddah supplement.

The Forward: As a people who have been persecuted and displaced again and again throughout history, the Jewish community has been especially moved by the plight of today’s refugees. Every day, we are confronted with the faces of people whose stories mirror our own Exodus. Today there are 60 million people who have left everything they know behind, and fled in search of safety. And every day, an additional 40,000 flee their own Pharoahs — from Syria, Honduras, Afghanistan, Sudan, Colombia, Myanmar, Somalia, Ukraine; the list goes on and on. Read more.

AJWS: This year, when we relive the story of our own liberation, we can also think of the millions of people around the world, including women, girls and LGBT people, who are still enslaved to poverty, violence, discrimination, and many other afflictions. We can challenge ourselves to take a more active and more meaningful role in hastening their freedom. Read more and see several supplement options.

The US Embassy Bern Presents - a Refugee Seder: This year, we also remember that there are 60 million displaced people around the world, people fleeing violence and persecution in search of a safe place to call home. We are currently in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Read more and download the Hagaddah.

JSPAN Hagaddah supplement: The plight of immigrants and refugees calls to us at this season of the Jewish year when we remember that we were exiled from our homeland and enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years, and then stateless nomads for forty years in the wilderness of Sinai, at the mercy of the elements, often losing faith as danger surrounded us. Indeed, throughout history, the Jewish people have so often been refugees that much of Jewish history can be characterized as a history of constant migration, forced and voluntary relocation, and resettlement. Read more and download. 

The Human Crisis by the numbers: The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people around the world has topped 65 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. As of December 2015, there were 65.3 million displaced people, according to a report from the refugee agency. It's the first time in the organization's history the number has surpassed 60 million — and represents a nearly 10 percent increase over last year's total, of 59.5 million.That number represents "immense human suffering," a UNHCR press release says.One in every 113 people on Earth has now been driven from their home by persecution, conflict and violence or human rights violations. Two other ways to wrap your mind around that number: Each minute, 24 people around the world flee their home because of violence or persecution. And if the world's displaced people were their own nation, it would be larger than the United Kingdom.

Upcoming Events
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Wed
Mar
  20
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender JCC Family Engagement)
12089 Rockville Pike, Rockville MD 20852
Join the Bender JCC and PJ Library at Barnes & Noble for Storytime, Snacks, and Arts & Crafts. Please register yourself and your child(ren) in advance.
Listed In:  Families, Interfaith, Maryland, Parenting, PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Mar
  20
5:30 PM - 6:15 PM
 
Temple Shalom
8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase MD 20815
Tot Purim is for families with children ages birth to pre-kindergarten. A combination of music, movement, and learning offering young children and their families a Purim experience through age-appropriate songs & prayers. You can join us following the service at 6:15 PM for pizza and salad dinner. https://purimpizza2019.eventbrite.com to order a pizza.
Listed In:  Families, GLBT, Interfaith, Early Childhood Educators, Maryland, Reform, Children/Teens/Family, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  Free; FREE

 
 
Wed
Mar
  20
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
 
Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim (Congregation Har Tzeon Agudath Achim)
1840 University Blvd West, Silver Spring MD 20902
Alas, Captain Haman and the Pirates of Shushan have stolen yer Megillah! Find ye treasure at HTAA for delicious dinner, Pirate Magic with Captain Moshe, costume parade, & grog! RSVP online or email Adrienne@htaa.org
Listed In:  Families, Maryland, Conservative, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; $10/individual ; $25/family

 
 
Wed
Mar
  20
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
 
Oseh Shalom
7515 Olive Branch Way, Laurel MD 20707
Come in Costume! Start the evening off with Pizza by signing up here no later than Friday, March 15. Stay for Oseh’s Purim Shpiel featuring your favorite TV characters. Enjoy the full night’s schedule. 6:00 pm Pizza & Salad: RSVP Required for Dinner. 6:45 pm Costume Parade 7:00 pm Shpiel & Megillah 8:00 pm Hamantashen & Wine Tasting Bring tzedakah for Matanot L’Evyonim
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Reconstructionist, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover)
Event Cost:  

 
 
Wed
Mar
  20
6:30 PM - 7:15 PM
 
Tikvat Israel Congregation
2200 Baltimore Road, Rockville MD 20851
Join us as we celebrate Purim. We will have a Purim Puppet Show, sing songs, read from the Megillah, and stamp out Haman's name.
Listed In:  Families, Interfaith, Maryland, Conservative, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  Free; Free

 
 
Thu
Mar
  21
9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Congregation Olam Tikvah (Congregation Olam Tikvah Preschool)
3800 Glenbrook Rd., Fairfax VA 22031
Connect with other Jewish families at this free, informal gathering, where we play, share a kosher snack, and attend a music class. Parents, grandparents, and/or caregivers bring children ages 0-3. For more information, please contact Melissa Schwartz, or (703)425-1886.
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Children/Teens/Family, Parenting, Social Events
Event Cost:  

 
 
Thu
Mar
  21
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
CORE Foundations at Kennedy Krieger Institute
13313 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring MD 20904
Patricia Sastoque and Rhonda Workman from the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) will share an overview regarding the DDA application process, eligibility, and the three Medicaid Waivers programs they administer. This event is to provide an introduction to the DDA's service delivery system and geared toward individuals and families. Co-presented by CORE Foundations, Maryland Center For Developmental Disabilities, Developmental Disabilities Administration, and Kennedy Krieger Sc...
Listed In:  Families, Special Needs, Maryland, Adult Education, Fitness & Wellness, Parenting
Event Cost:  

 
 
Fri
Mar
  22
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
 
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Bender JCC: Children & Family Programs)
6125 Montrose Road, Rockville MD 20852
Join us for a monthly challah-making and music-filled session to share joyful Judaism from generation to generation. Connect with other grandparents while bonding with your grandbabies and having fun! Every month will offer different activities such as art and tikkun olam — but making challah and music making will always be included!
Listed In:  Boomers, Families, Seniors, Maryland, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Culinary, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting, PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; Members: $10, General Public: $15

 
 
Sat
Mar
  23
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Congregation Adat Reyim
6500 Westbury Oaks Court, Springfield VA 22152
Introducing Shabbat Family Jam -- a new full-bodied, joyful, family Shabbat experience at Congregation Adat Reyim. Together, we will enjoy a unique Shabbat learning and worship experience full of gratitude, Ruach and Jewish experiences to treasure together! Bring family and friends! Stay to enjoy a nosh afterwards - Kosher oneg noshes and treats are provided. Perfect for 1-8 year olds and their loving adults.
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Families, Interfaith, Northern Virginia, Conservative, Children/Teens/Family, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting, PJ Library Co-Sponsored
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sat
Mar
  23
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
 
Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Congregation
7727 Persimmon Tree Lane, Bethesda MD 20817
Disability and Inclusion Speaker Judy Heumann and Zoe Gross Inclusion Advisory Committee - Disability Awareness on March 23 - Special Guests Judy Heumann and Zoe Gross. Judy Heumann is a veteran advocate for disability rights from fighting for her own teaching credentials to her tenure as Asst. Sect'y of Education under President Obama. Zoe Gross is a young autism self-advocate joining Judy for teaching at our morning Shabbat service and again at 1pm acharei-oneg (after Shabbat lunch) - don...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Special Needs, Maryland, Reconstructionist, Advocacy
Event Cost:  

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
 
Ms. Ellie Music (Adas Israel - shir a song location)
2825 Quebec Street NW, Washington DC 20008
Join me for shir a song classes—early childhood music and movement classes designed for babies, toddlers, preschoolers accompanied by a parent or caregiver. We sing and dance to non-Jewish songs and fun Shabbat and Jewish holiday songs, using finger plays, chants, percussion instruments, a variety of props, and dance and movement. Registration for the SPRING shir a song session is now open! Spring 2019 session: March to June Tuesdays at Adas Israel: April 2 - May 28 (8 classes) $175 9:30 & ...
Listed In:  Families, Early Childhood Educators, DC, Non-denominational, Children/Teens/Family, Arts & Culture, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Parenting
Event Cost:  more than $50; $175/8 classes, sibling & referral discounts avail

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia-Community Engagement Department)
11660 Plaza America Dr, Reston VA 20190
Come join GJF for a fun morning of PJ Library stories and braid your own challah to take home and bake. This month we will learn about the Jewish holiday of Purim. Whole Foods provides the dough. You provide the creativity and sense of adventure. Bring your dough home to bake. Please RSVP to Jennifer.DeAngelis@jccnv.org so we can reserve enough dough. Questions: Contact Jennifer.DeAngelis@Jccnv.org Space is very limited. PLEASE RSVP!
Listed In:  Families, Interfaith, Northern Virginia, Children/Teens/Family, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), PJ Library Co-Sponsored, Social Events
Event Cost:  Free; No charge

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
 
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia (JCC of Northern Virginia-Community Engagement Department)
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax VA 22031
This event is intended for participants to attend the entire scheduled time/series.
Join Growing Jewish Families for a NEW program called Rhythm 'n Ruach! Led by Andrea Cate, certified Rhythm 'n Ruach facilitator, each week, you and your child will have a musical Shabbat adventure including a variety of hands-on experiences including: exploring exciting musical instruments, learning a Hebrew word, singing and dancing to Jewish and secular music, and learning Jewish values....
Listed In:  Families, Northern Virginia, Arts & Culture, Social Events
Event Cost:  more than $50; $180/child, $108/second child

 
 
Sun
Mar
  24
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
 
Tikvat Israel Congregation
2200 Baltimore Road, Rockville MD 20851
Tikvat Israel invites you to join us on Sunday, March 24 from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. in the Social Hall for our revitalized Purim Carnival. Our Carnival is fun for the whole family and will feature: New Games! Bounce House! 30’ Long Inflatable Obstacle Course! Face Painting! Visit from the Kona Ice Truck! Prizes! Food! Silent Auction! (see information below) Wristband pricing: 0-2 years old FREE (games only, food available for purchase) 3-6 years old $5 for games only, $10 for games + meal 7-...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, Families, Seniors, Teens, Maryland, Conservative, Holiday/Shabbat (High Holidays, Chanukah, Passover), Social Events
Event Cost:  $10 - $24; varies

 
 
Tue
Mar
  26
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
 
Washington Hebrew Congregation
3935 Macomb St, NW, Washington DC 20016
With great joy and meaning, we invite you to a very special event welcoming three Israeli couples into the covenant of marriage. None of these couples can be married in their homeland under the auspices of the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate for three very different reasons: • One is a heterosexual couple in which the male is not recognized as Jewish because his mother, who converted, is deaf, and this conversion was not recognized in Israel. • The second is a progressive Jewish couple who rejects t...
Listed In:  20’s-30’s-40’s, Boomers, College (Late Teens/Early 20s), Families, GLBT, Interfaith, Seniors, DC, Conservative, Reform, Advocacy, Politics, Social Events
Event Cost:  Free; $18 suggested donation