Passover seder (illustrative).
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
The Tel Aviv Port has for years been one of the city’s nightlife hot spots, not even stopping for Shabbat or holidays.
One part of the port, however, will be a bit different this Passover.
When the holiday begins this Friday, the port’s Hangar 11 venue will come alive with the first Chabad On the Coast Passover Seder.
With 250 people expected to attend, it could also prove to be one of Israel’s biggest Seders specifically geared for English-speakers.
The group is the latest religious offering to pop up in the White City in recent years and behind it all is the 20-something power-couple Rabbi Eli and Sara Naiditch.
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, Sara Naiditch said the theme of the Seder will be kibbutz galuyot, or “the ingathering of the exiles,” which fits well with the melting pot that is Tel Aviv.
Joining the Naiditchs in guiding the guests through the Passover feast will be olim from around the world, including Iran, Greece, Argentina, the US and Australia.
The New York native said that the Passover story is particularly apt for the community of olim since it parallels how many left their home countries to live in Israel.
To accommodate the handful of families with young children, the Seder will have a kids table complete with toys and games.
The rest of the guests will be provided with handmade shmura matzot, a threecourse meal complete with meat and fish, plenty of wine and the obligatory Haggada.
The Naiditchs arrived in Tel Aviv last August just in time for Rosh Hashana, after several years running programs at Ascent Visitors Center and Hostel in Safed.
Since their arrival in the city, they have hosted Shabbat meals, weekly Torah classes and even a women’s gathering every Jewish new month complete with wine and desserts. They host Shabbat prayer services at small synagogue off of Bograshov Street that they spruced up with the help of a team of volunteers after it had sat dormant for over a decade.
Starting a new religious community for Tel Aviv’s English speakers came after years of meeting young Tel Avivians in Safed who lived in the city but did not feel at home in any particular community.
“There are thousands of English speakers in Tel Aviv that, in their home countries, were very connected to their Jewish communities but find it hard to connect to the Israeli scene,” said Naiditch.
The thinking seems to have worked. The group’s series of holiday parties and events have all been sold out, including a roof-top hotel Hanukka party and a ’20s-themed Jazz party for Purim on Rothschild Boulevard.
An average Shabbat meal finds guests mingling around a bustling table at the family’s home. More offerings are on the way including an organized learning course called “Writing Your Own Mission Statement” and a potentially beachthemed Lag Ba’omer party at the end of May.
Tickets for the Seder are NIS 160 each and free for lone soldiers. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.TelAvivSeder.eventbrite.com.