Since we are still looking for a new permanent home, we pitched our tent at All Saints Church Hall in Woodford for its first ever Communal Seder on Tuesday 11th April – the second night of Pesach. A small but hard working group of volunteers, arrived early to prepare the hall ready for the nearly 160 people, members of our community along with their guests, attending.
We were lucky to have found such a big tent!
Rabbi Richard Jacobi, Rabbi David Hulbert and Rabbi Harry Jacobi led us through the Seder service, along with members of the community, including children, reading from the Liberal Jewish Hagadah.
The Hagadah contains three versions of the narration – a short version of the story, additional text for the longer version, and child friendly version. As has become the custom at Marlborough Road, our communal Seder used elements of all three versions in retelling the story of slaves being freed from Egypt and the start of the Exodus.
The Hagadah itself and the movement between the three versions within it were not the only non-traditional elements for our communal Seder. Other ideas from Progressive Judaism included an Orange on the Seder plate and Miriam’s Cup of Water besides Elijah’s Cup.
It was also a pleasure to have within our tent, taking part in a multi-faith communal Seder Rev. Jude Bullock from St Anne’s Church in Chingford Mount; Rev. Ian Crofts from Jesus Church in Forty Hill; and Qaiser Malik who is secretary of the Qur’ani Murkuz Trust in South Woodford. A truly Abrahamic evening that recalled (to paraphrase Qaiser Malik) – not only the historical freedom of the Jewish nation but also those still enslaved by unjust rulers.
And it was dome in a warm and welcoming manner aided, as ever, by the sharing of food.