Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison celebrated the second night of Passover at its annual Community Seder on Tuesday evening.
Approximately fifty guests enjoyed a festive meal complete with gefilte fish (ground fish loaf), matzo ball soup, baked stuffed chicken, roast vegetables and potato kugel (potato casserole), and a sweet ending of macaroons and rich flourless chocolate cake.
Temple members and friends of all generations joined one another in song while Rabbi Claudio Kogan and Cantorial soloist Rick Calvert led the family friendly service.
The evening began with a reading of the Haggadah which tells the story of the Jews’ freedom from slavery and exodus out of Egypt. Adults and children took turns reading the Passover story which includes asking, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”
Guests participated in symbolic rituals such as lighting the festival candles, dipping parsley in salt water, and reciting the ten plagues after which guests sang a rousing version of the song, “Let My People Go!”
After the Passover meal , children delighted in searching for the “Afikoman” which is a piece of matzah hidden for children at the Seder. As Rabbi Kogan led the young guests through the synagogue, one lucky child discovered the wrapped matzah under a seat cushion in the temple library and was awarded with a small gift.
While Passover tells the ancient story of the Jewish people’s liberation, it also provides an opportunity to reflect on present day struggles for freedom and to “welcome the stranger” who may be alone for the holiday.
Jill Lesage, co-organizer of the Seder concurred, “Temple Beth Tikvah welcomes all members of the community to gather and celebrate together.”
The traditional exclamation of, “Next Year in Jerusalem!”, is echoed throughout the world each Passover, but here on the shoreline...”Next Year at Temple Beth Tikvah!”