From Generation to Generation: Austin Celebrates Passover with Community Seders 

From Generation to Generation: Austin Celebrates Passover with Community Seders 

The Austin community celebrated Passover with festive seders held for folks of all ages.  

Tot Seder

 L to R: Jessica Henderson with baby Ilo, Mary Axelrud with baby Clara, Karin Lester with baby Millie. Credit: Gabe Axelrud

L to R: Jessica Henderson with baby Ilo, Mary Axelrud with baby Clara, Karin Lester with baby Millie. Credit: Gabe Axelrud

By Jennifer Braham

The Tot Seder is an annual event that Temple Beth Shalom puts on and is free and open to the community every year. This year we asked PJ Library to partner with us! There were roughly 40 families who attended this year. Temple Beth Shalom Clergy, Rabbi Freedman (who played Pharaoh), Rabbi Amy Cohen, and Cantor Abby Gostein led the programming, and we had traditional Seder food items for the children to taste. 

YAD

 Shalom Austin Staff, Blake Chaifetz, Sarah Weisfeld and Carly Karten setting up for YAD Passover Seder. Credit: Sarah Weisfeld

Shalom Austin Staff, Blake Chaifetz, Sarah Weisfeld and Carly Karten setting up for YAD Passover Seder. Credit: Sarah Weisfeld

By Sarah Weisfeld

YAD hosted its annual first night Passover Seder at the JCC with 60 young adults sharing in the Seder experience. Mixed with first time Seder attendees and longtime observers, it was enjoyed by all. Seder was led by Andrew Schuster.

Along with the traditional Seder, the group engaged in conversation around current freedoms and areas that still need attention in our state and world. On the Seder plate, the group put an orange as a symbol of women's rights, sparked by the story that a man supposedly told Professor Susannah Heschel that “a woman belongs on the bimah as much as an orange belongs on the seder plate.”

The community joined together for the Four Questions, lots of readings and songs. Wine flowed, and the 10 plagues were symbolized with things like ping pong balls for hail, sunglasses for darkness and plastic critters. The group played Passover Bingo while going through the Seder, and winners received scrumptious Passover treats like chocolate covered matzah and fruit slices. The festive evening left the young adults in high spirits with boxes of leftover Matzah.

Senior Seder

 Community members and visitors age 55+ gather for Senior Adult Seder. Credit: Wendy R. Corn

Community members and visitors age 55+ gather for Senior Adult Seder. Credit: Wendy R. Corn

By Wendy Corn

The annual (Senior) Adult Passover Seder, underwritten by Atria Senior Living and hosted by volunteers from Shalom Austin Women’s Philanthropy, included readings, ceremonial foods and lots of singing. Rabbi Neil Blumofe led the observance; his upbeat sense of humor made for a high-spirited event despite the rain outside.

Shalom Austin Staff and Volunteer Spotlight

Shalom Austin Staff and Volunteer Spotlight

Moontower Comedy Festival Brings Laughs to JCC

Moontower Comedy Festival Brings Laughs to JCC