Women’s Seder

Morristown Jewish Center Bet Yisrael will hold a Women’s Seder on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 5-7 pm. The women in the community are welcome to join us. The seder will be led by Cantor Shana Onigman

Since the first women’s seder was organized in Israel in 1975, thousands of Jewish women celebrate Passover every year with an evening of prayer, music, celebration, remembrance led by women for women, based on and inspired by the traditional familiar Passover seder, but with new insights, words, and liturgy.

What is a “women’s seder”? And why hold a seder just for women?

We usually think of commentary as written or spoken explanation, often by rabbis and scholars. A women’s seder, meant to be a supplement rather than a replacement of a traditional seder, serves as living communal commentary: we gather to learn together, to re-interpret familiar rituals and prayers, to see and experience the national story of our Exodus from Egypt with new eyes, from a new perspective, with our friends, mothers, sisters, and daughters, and our fore-mothers in mind.

We will explore Torah’s tale of the courageous women who played key roles in the saving and liberation of the Jewish people: the midwives Shifra and Puah; Yokheved; Pharoah’s daughter; Miriam; Tsipora. The biblical story of the Exodus can be seen as a celebration of women’s heroism. But in the traditional haggadah, women are missing: it is men and boys are referred to, while women and girls are invisible. We will bring these voices to the forefront as we explore the Passover story of freedom from oppression, from the expectation that one group of people will be subservient to another.

With song, ritual, story, and prayer, we will gather as Jewish women all over the world do each Passover to name what is, and to dream of—and works toward—what is yet to be.

Cantor Shana Onigman is a graduate of the Hebrew College Cantorial School in Boston. She completed a master’s degree in Jewish education and a certification in Jewish special education. She has served as a Cantor in Brookline, Mass. as well as in Basking Ridge.

Dinner is included. The Seder is intended for Grandmas, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters age 10 and over.

Reservations are required. No charge for Morristown Jewish Center members, friends in the community, $ 25 per adult and $ 10 per child through age 13. Contact Ellen Nesson at ellen.nesson@gmail.com to register and arrange payment before the event.
Image 1: shanas-picture.jpeg

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