Each year at Passover, Jews come together to tell the story of Exodus and celebrate our emancipation from bondage. For the past ten years, Jewish Community Action (JCA) has shared this tradition with our neighbors at the annual Immigrant Freedom Seder, where we host our friends and allies and reflect on our community’s modern-day triumphs and struggles. Now in its eleventh year, the Immigrant Freedom Seder weaves together the elements of a traditional Seder with storytelling, music, and activities, and brings us together with our allies to share the holiday’s message of freedom and rededicate ourselves to eradicating all injustice from our community.
In the Seder’s first years, we focused entirely on immigrants’ and workers’ rights, but last year, we chose to highlight stories about Minnesota’s foreclosure crisis and the proposed marriage amendment, as well. Through this shift in focus, we demonstrated the connections between our many campaigns — at the root of all of our work is the desire for freedom and justice. Last year’s Seder was incredibly powerful, so once again this year, we will tell stories about our unique yet interconnected campaigns for financial justice, the freedom to marry, gun violence prevention, and immigrant rights.
With our financial justice work, we want to mend that divide, create equity, and bring people closer together. We work for comprehensive immigration reform so that newcomers to this country feel welcomed and supported as they build families and community. Our work for marriage equality is based in our belief that everyone should have the right to build families that look the way our hearts say they should. And, by working to end gun violence, we commit to making all of our communities safe places where everyone can thrive. By bringing people together at events like this year’s Immigrant Freedom Seder, we hope to build the community and strength that we need to create real change in our world.
The Freedom Seder is and always will be community-wide and multi-cultural. Just as many of us see Passover as an opportunity to host our friends and share our stories, the Immigrant Freedom Seder is an opportunity for JCA to host and welcome our partners from diverse communities. The Seder is always well-attended (last year we hosted over 200 people!), and is accessible to people of all backgrounds and faiths.
This year’s Seder will be led by Rabbi Amy Eilberg, with Wendy Goldberg leading songs. A sampling of traditional Seder foods will be served, and childcare is available (please let us know you’ll need it when you RSVP!). Admission is on a $10-18 sliding scale, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Don’t Miss Jewish Community Action’s 11th Annual Immigrant Freedom Seder on Sunday, March 17. Doors at 1:30, event begins promptly at 2 PM. Mt. Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Avenue, St. Paul. Reservations will be accepted through Wednesday, March 13 or until all tables are filled! Reserve your seat NOW: firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-632-2184.
This is a guest post by Ari Keiner of Jewish Community Action.