Preparations for the biggest Passover Seder in the country, in which some 1,600 people are expected to participate on Monday night, are under way in Jaffa.The Seder is being organized by the Aviv Hatorah organization for the city’s Ethiopian immigrant community, many of whom have only arrived in the country in the last few years, as well as for families who have chosen to celebrate Passover together with them.It is part of Aviv Hatorah’s yearround activities through its Immigrating with Success project for Ethiopian immigrants in Jaffa, which includes activities and social events for the community.
Such a massive Seder requires huge supplies of the food and other necessities for the various traditions and ceremonies of the evening, including 2,000 bottles of wine, 450 kilos of meat 300 kilos of haroset, 120 kilos of matza and 100 kilos of bitter herbs.All told, the Seder will cost NIS 300,000, with funding coming from Aviv Hatorah itself, as well as the Ish L’reyehu NGO, the Absorption Ministry, the Tel-Aviv-Jaffa municipality, among other groups, while a Jgive online fundraising campaign has also been initiated to complete the budget for the event. Rabbi Yehudah Sahala, the rabbi of the Ethiopian community in Jaffa, said there is no more fitting time to help new immigrants than at Passover.“There is no better time than Seder night to remember that we all left Egypt and to sit around the table and get to know each other better,” he said. “This is an event full of love and unity between the different parts of the nation.” Sahala said many of the new immigrants who will be attending do not know how to conduct a Seder in accordance with all the religious requirements, and that the mass event was designed to “connect people to the traditions of the Jewish people.”Shira Tenne, the Immigrating with Success project coordinator, called the event the highlight of the year for her organization.“We do activities based on the festivals around the year, but Seder night is without doubt the pinnacle of the year, it’s full of a great power that gives the community a lot of energy for the entire year,” she said.
Ethiopian Olim celebrate their first Passover Seder in Israel in 2011