This meal offers food for all thoughts.

The Central Queens Y will host an Interfaith Passover Seder in Forest Hills on Thursday, March 30, at 7 p.m. All are invited, and the cuisine will be kosher, halal and vegetarian. (Wine and grape juice will be served.)

Seder is an annual ritual that brings friends and families together to eat symbolic food, sing songs, enjoy each other’s company, and retell the Biblical story of Exodus about Moses leading Jewish slaves out of Egypt and into freedom.

Retired Reformed Rabbi Irwin Goldenberg, who taught at Gettysburg College and York College of Pennsylvania, will lead this Seder. He’ll explain the history behind this story using a Haggadah (the text read during the meal) tailored to interfaith Exodus conversations. He promises to be brief.

As per tradition, those present will eat Matzoh (unleavened bread eaten during the rushed escape), bitter herbs (which symbolize the bitterness of slavery), and charoset (a sweet paste made of apples, nuts, dates, and orange peels representing the mortar that Jewish slaves used to cement bricks). They will also sing songs, dip vegetables into salty water (recalling the tears shed during servitude), and open the door for Elijah (to invite all people and welcome the future arrival of the Messiah). If enough youngsters are present, there will be an afikoman hunt (a search for a hidden matzoh).

Peggy Kurtz, who runs the Central Queens Y’s Cultural Arts & Jewish Heritage Programs Department, told QNS that she is expecting Christians, Hindus and Muslims at this meal.

“The Exodus story is very powerful,” she said. “And it’s a story that many of our traditions hold in common.”

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Space is limited, so RSVP is required. The Central Queens Y is at 67-09 108th St.

Photos: Central Queens Y


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Steven Katz March 28, 2017 / 04:32PM
What an abject was by the Y of an opportunity to teach Jews about Judaism. A seder is an observance of the release of Jews from bondage and slavery in Egypt. How sad that the Y and this rabbi will, once again, violate Jewish laws in their efforts to foster their own secular proclivities. Any Jews thinking of attending should find an Orthodox Jewish synagogue and arrange to attend a proper Jewish seder. You'll be surprised at what you will learn.

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