SoCal Jewish community celebrates Passover with interfaith events

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Monday, April 22, 2024
SoCal Jewish community celebrates Passover with interfaith seder
SoCal's Jewish community is celebrating their first Passover since the Oct. 7th attack in Israel with interfaith events meant to build bridges.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Following the Oct. 7 attack in Israel, many Southern California Jewish families are turning to their Passover traditions to share their experiences and build bridges with the larger community.

That includes attending an interfaith Passover seder like the one hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles last week at the Museum of Tolerance.

Jews shared their traditions with those of other faiths to show that they can overcome any obstacles.

"We have gone through the most difficult period since WWII since Oct. 7 and the Jewish people are incredibly resilient throughout all of history. We have been tossed from one nation to the next and we're being tossed about again," said Rabbi Noah Farkas, president and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater L.A.

"We've always come together at Passover to gather, remember the past, and pray for a better future. Tomorrow doesn't have to look like yesterday," Farkas said.

Attendees of the Passover seder worked to prepare meals with Our Big Kitchen Los Angeles (OBKLA) for L.A.'s most vulnerable residents, including those living on Skid Row.

"When we're driving, especially in L.A., sometimes I see homeless people and I know that it's much harder for them to live than how it is for me and the people here. It feels nice to help them and I think that's the right thing to do," OBKLA volunteer Jacob Morozov said.

"Try to transform helplessness into hopefulness. There's a lot of reasons for people to be anxious, sad, there's lots of divisiveness going on locally, globally," said Yossi Segelman, director of OBKLA. "What we try and do is provide a platform for people to connect over food, connect over being able to give back."

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles encourages Jews to invite non-Jews to their seders to share Jewish experiences and start the healing process, especially in connection with conflict in the Middle East.

The seders were held in advance of the holiday celebrated this year April 22-30.

"It's especially important right now to ensure we're showing the nation and the world that we're proud to be Jewish and we're celebrating in a way that is meaningful and being able to be here and do an amazing mitzvah before Pesach feels extra special," OBKLA volunteer Sasha Morozov said.