Today is last day to reserve for Temple B’nai’s Passover Celebration

Published 12:33 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Congregation B’nai Israel invites the public to join us as we celebrate Passover the weekend of April 26–27.

Our annual commemoration of the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt begins this year on Friday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m., when Rabbi Salem Pearce from the Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL) in Jackson will lead a Shabbat service in the sanctuary at Temple B’nai Israel on 213 S. Commerce St.

On Saturday, April 27, at 6 p.m., Rabbi Pearce will lead a Passover service at Trinity Episcopal Church’s Kuehnle Hall at 305 South Commerce Street. A festive meal will follow with traditional foods including matzah ball soup, brisket, and tzimmes (glazed vegetables with dried fruit). All are welcome, but space is limited, so please make your reservations now by calling Beau Bumgardner at 504-812-4148 or emailing Paris Winn at The suggested donation is $50 per person.

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The eight-day festival of Passover is one of the three major pilgrimage festivals of the Jewish people.

Each spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, Jews around the world celebrate the departure of their ancestors from Egypt—and their escape from slavery to freedom.

The highlight of the Passover holiday is the Seder. The book used for this service is an ancient text, the Haggadah, which means “the telling.” It explains the symbolic significance of the foods on the seder plate, recounts the highlights of the Exodus, and includes songs, prayers, questions, and stories.

The beautifully decorated seder table includes matzah, unleavened cracker-like wafers that represent the unleavened bread eaten by the Israelites on their flight from Egypt; and a special seder plate with six symbolic foods: a roasted shank bone, symbolizing the ancient paschal offering; charoset, a chutney-like mixture of fruits, nuts, and wine that calls to mind the mortar used by the Israelites during their years of forced servitude; karpas, a green vegetable such as parsley, which is dipped in salt water as a reminder of the tears shed by our ancestors during their years of enslavement; bitter herbs, such as horseradish, representing the bitterness of slavery; and a roasted egg, said to represent the cycle of life.

Although Passover is traditionally celebrated in the home with family and friends, many Jewish congregations also host a Community Seder. Temple B’Nai Israel has been hosting an annual Community Passover Seder for many years. By celebrating this festive holiday with our friends and neighbors we hope to increase understanding and fellowship among all faiths in our community.

We hope to see you at our Passover celebration.

Teri Tillman is a member of Congregation B’nai Israel.