By Nancy B. Greer
President & CEO
This evening as the sun sets, our Seder plates will hold the ritual foods, haggadot will be placed at each table setting, and friends and family will gather for Passover — the celebration where people of all ages gather to retell the timeless story of gaining our freedom from slavery and reflecting on the timeless Jewish values that are the story’s foundation.
When we gather for our Seders, the haggadah invites us not just to hear the story, but to experience this communal act of remembrance with our senses and gain a deeper appreciation of its meanings. When we experience the old story fully, its relevance to our lives today becomes crystal-clear.
We’re a long way in space, time, culture, and knowledge from ancient Egypt. Our ancestors would marvel at the freedoms that we enjoy today and would find our material abundance and prosperity beyond magical. Yet our forebears of long-ago days would notice a heartening familiarity about Passover — connecting to each other, questioning, and the invitation for all who are hungry to come and eat.
Our ancestors also would recognize that our walk to freedom is not yet complete. They would see the unfinished work of wrongs that must be made right and of promises for all peoples that must be fulfilled. They would welcome the call to action instilled in all of us that pushes us to provide meaningful Jewish opportunities for the next generation, to fight antisemitism, to care for our community members. They would support our commitment to creating vibrant Jewish life and for our ongoing tzedakah.
As we proclaim “Next year in Jerusalem” at our Seder tables, our forebears would understand and encourage our work to keep a strong connection with Israel, our Jewish homeland, and to ensure Jewish continuity. It is only through the generosity of our community, through the generosity of YOU, that we can honor our past by visioning for the future together.
Mindful of the challenges that face our community today and hopeful about tomorrow’s prospects, we do this vital work so that all Jews everywhere, however they define themselves as Jewish, on whatever paths their Jewish journeys take them, will have a thriving and welcoming community to call home.
Chag Pesach Sameach!