Celebrating Our 100th Passover
Passover has always had special resonance at the Home. One-hundred years ago, the needs of five individuals and the kindness and generosity of the community led to the creation of the Jewish Home.
A unique part of the Home’s Centennial Passover took place back in Boyle Heights: the Home shared a model Seder with Keiro Senior Healthcare on April 2nd. Among the 100 participants in this touching cross-cultural event were residents and staff of both the Home and Keiro. The event was a “homecoming” for the Jewish Home, as it was founded 100 years ago on the site where Keiro now serves the Japanese-American senior community in Los Angeles.
While the model Seder was much shorter than a traditional Seder, all the major elements were included. “I wanted to use our tradition to make a meaningful Seder — and a sacred day — for both our communities,” says Rabbi Anthony Elman, the Home’s Skirball Director of Spiritual Life. “That is why I talked about the Japanese-American experience of internment during World War II, and created prayers stressing the blessing of freedom for both our peoples.”
The celebration was enhanced with beautiful cards designed to guide everyone through the Seder. The attendees listened to the Passover story, sang together, and shared charoset, matzah, and bitter herbs. The event culminated in an elegant bento box lunch, hosted by Keiro. The Seder provided a wonderful opportunity for everyone to learn about a different culture, experience new traditions, make new friends, and reflect on the importance of freedom for all.
“Going to the Japanese Home will stay in my memory as one of the nicest experiences I have ever had,” says Jewish Home resident Jerri Kane. “Sharing the differences of our cultures and comparing the way of living in our different homes made me aware of how similar our lives truly are.”
We carried on the Home’s popular Passover tradition by again hosting our annual community Seder. Held at Eisenberg Village on the second night of Passover, the community Seder enabled participants to appreciate the blessings of family, teach a tradition of caring, and make a tangible difference in the lives of our residents.
This year, we offered something else new to the community: Centennial Passover Seder kits that provided “how-to” Seder basics and could be used as a supplement to enrich family Seders at home. Offered free of charge, the kits proved wildly successful: a total of 2,000 Seder kits were sent to people of all ages throughout Southern California, with 1,000 kits going to children at Valley Beth Shalom, Wilshire Boulevard Temple, the Zimmer Children’s Museum and the Home’s own A Parenting Place: Mommy and Me. The children were able to decorate their Seder kit using rubber stamps representing the ten plagues, and then take their kit home to share with their family.
We hope your Seder was fun, educational, and exciting! You can upload a photo from your Passover celebration and share a message with us about your Passover experience this year. Your photo and/or message might be selected as part of the Jewish Home’s official Centennial Seder online album!