Ulpan Etzion students celebrate the holiday of freedom, spring and renewal, and their first Seder in the land of their ancestors.
(photo credit: DAVID SALEM)
It was a perfect antidote for anyone who might have been discouraged by the election results. And for those who were elated, it was precisely the sort of encounter needed to reinforce the conviction that we were doing something right.
The morning after the last of the ballots in our national elections had been cast, chance would have me at the Jewish Agency’s Ulpan Etzion, visiting with the 250 young immigrants from 40 different countries resident there, who had arrived in Israel only three months before.
Their enthusiasm over their new home was infectious, and the model Seder I was their guest at was a particularly moving experience. For some it was the first time they were participating in any sort of Seder at all, and they were eager to share with me how an emotional experience it would be for them to recite the words “Next year in Jerusalem” while actually being here.
ANTON WAS among the Passover newbies. Though he’d been brought up in Moscow fully aware of his Jewish heritage, his home had been devoid of Jewish practice, and his upbringing – by his own account – bereft of meaningful Jewish content. What, then, brought him here?
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