Apr 202005
Authors: Joanna Thomas

Today is the last day to purchase tickets for the Passover celebration. They can be ordered online at csu.hillelcolorado.org, by calling 491-2080 or stopping by the Hillel office, room 16 of the Lory Student Center. The cost is $18 for students and $25 for non-students.

Hillel, the Jewish student organization on campus, will give Jewish students a "home away from home" at its annual Passover Seder this weekend.

The Seder will be at 6 p.m. Saturday in the Lory Student Center Cherokee Park Room, and it welcomes all students, faculty and community members, regardless if they are of the Jewish faith.

Hedy Berman, director of Hillel, said Passover is traditionally a family holiday, one that is celebrated at home and not at the synagogue.

"It's important for us to celebrate with our family, and since this year it falls on Saturday it may be smaller than it's been in past years, but the important thing is (Jewish students) have a family or someone to go for a sense of community," Berman said.

Hillel President Kayla Brummet agrees.

"Because students usually can't go home to be with their families on Passover, we celebrate with our extended family here at CSU," Brummet said.

The Passover and Seder is not just a retelling of a story though. It is a reliving the Jews' departure from Egypt and a celebration of family and freedom, Berman said.

"The Seder is a service and dinner. The Seder is a celebration and an actual reenactment of the exodus from Egypt," Berman said.

Berman said the story of Jews leaving is a story of freedom and liberation, and it is traditionally read from the Haggadah.

"Haggadah literally means the retelling and is the actual story of Passover," Berman said.

Berman said there are lots of different versions of the Haggadah, not just one general version like a Bible.

"We've put together our own Haggadah at Hillel. That way we were able to put together different bits and pieces that really spoke to students," Berman said.

Every year the Passover story is told from the Haggadah and people are supposed to pass it down from generation to generation told in first person as if they are telling the story of leaving Egypt, Berman said

The Hillel's Haggadah challenges students to find what their "exodus" is and what persecution they, and the Jewish population as a whole, are facing, Berman said. The Jewish students look at the power of community and the ability to change the world.

"The Hebrew word 'mitzrayim' literally means tight narrow space, and I like to take Passover to think of some of the tight narrow spaces that I find myself in that I can change," Berman said.

Different students and faculty will be leading the Seder. A lot of songs and prayers are part of the story, as well as traditional music

Also following the custom and traditions, Hillel's Seder will feature the same foods described in the story.

The student center's Event Planning Office will cater this year's dinner. The four-course dinner includes Passover favorites such as matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, choice of kosher chicken or vegetable entr�e, and a Passover dessert.

Berman said the food that is served before the meal is symbolic. The matzah, or unleavened bread, signifies the bitterness of slavery and represents how there was not time to let the bread rise when the Jews rushed out of slavery. Parsley, signifying life and growth, is dipped in salt water, which represents the tears of birth that only occur through suffering.

Berman encourages anybody who is interested to come, Jewish or not Jewish.

"Anybody can relate to this feeling of being held back or enslaved. Whoever comes will hopefully fine this a liberating experience," Berman said.


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