Temple Beth El’s Glazer Institute Hosts Model Interfaith Seder March 22


Temple Beth El’s 76th annual Glazer Rabbi B. Benedict and Ada S. Glazer Institute on Judaism – established in 1943 and the nation’s oldest forum for interfaith dialogue – will offer a unique opportunity to members of all faiths to experience the ancient rituals and modern impact of one of Judaism’s most beloved rituals – the Passover Seder  – 7:00 p.m. March 22 at Temple Beth El, 7400 Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Danielle Gordon at dgordon@tbeonline.org or 248-851-1100. The event is free and open to the community.

TBE’s Rabbi Mark Miller and guest Rabbi Justus Baird, Dean of the Auburn Theological Seminary of New York will lead participants through many of the holiday’s symbols and blessings as well as insight and wisdom about how this celebration ties into some of our most pressing concerns today. The evening will include traditional foods to sample, meaningful conversations around the table, and a chance to deepen the sacred relationships we share.

Rabbi Baird helps to build multi-faith movements for social justice by overseeing Auburn’s education programs. He creates learning environments that help leaders grow, and has a reputation for being calm, thoughtful, and a great facilitator.

Guests at this model Seder will sample just some elements of a full-length Seder, including reviewing the meaning of symbolic foods such as matzah, discussing the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and the concepts of moving from slavery to freedom.

“The symbolism within the Seder can be easily transcended to those who observe other faiths,” Baird said. “The broken pieces of matzah can symbolize our own brokenness, and we can relate to the harried way that the Israelites left Egypt to the business in our own lives as we rush around feeling like we have little time to prepare.”

The evening plans to be one where open dialogue is welcomed in the Seder setting, which is considered the ancient rabbis’ most ageless teaching tools.

“Of all the Jewish holidays, this is the most observed holidays because it is situated around the home, family, ritual and food,” said Miller, who studied with Baird in rabbinical school. “Something that we can take from learning about the Seder in an interfaith setting of learning and then at our own Passover observances is: after we spend a night learning about freedom of slavery, from moving from a narrow place through one of redemption, what will we do, how will we act, to carry this ideal forward? After we engage in dialogue at our Seder tables, how can we act upon this after the holiday is over to make our towns and our communities better and more socially just?”