FROM THE CEO: April is a Month to Come Together, with Passover, IGNITE!
When I was in my formative teenage years, the founding rabbi of my congregation, Rabbi Robert Kahn, delivered what was an eye-opening sermon on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. As we convened for what many believe is the most important day on the Jewish calendar, Rabbi Kahn asked those in attendance what is the most celebrated and observed holiday in Judaism. Naturally, sitting in a room that was expanded to capacity for the Days of Awe, most of our minds gravitated to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, or Yom Kippur. However, Rabbi Kahn quickly corrected everyone’s misguided analysis. The most celebrated holiday according to studies at the time was Passover.
At first, I thought to myself, as did others, how could this be the case? Can you not see the number of Jews in synagogue during this important holiday season? But as Rabbi Kahn continued to explain why, it all made sense. Passover is a time when we do not necessarily come to synagogue, though we are obligated to. Rather, we observe and celebrate the holiday in our homes with family and friends. Most Jews, regardless of where they are in the world, find a Seder table where they can observe Passover.
Passover is a special season for our community, as it provides a space to commune in synagogues and homes alike. Passover enables us to open our homes and welcome others in need of a connection to commune with others. The food, the Seder and its stories, and the gathering itself are a perfect recipe for providing an inclusive environment.
As we approach Passover, I hope that we each find a place at the Seder table to feel included, share stories and learn something new that will change us for good.
It is in this spirit that we come together to celebrate as a community at IGNITE! Sunday, April 14. While a fundraiser, we come together to share our story of impact, to feel part of a bigger community and family, and to imagine what kind of community we want for the future by honoring those who have brought us here to this moment. I hope you will join us for what will be a transformative evening.
Rabbi Daniel A. Septimus