Community Seders Return: Here Are a Few Possibilities

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In 2019, Gov. Tom Wolf (seated halfway on the left side of the table) hosted a seder at the governor’s residence for the fourth year. Courtesy of Commonwealth Media Services

By Heather Ross

The pandemic mostly put the kibosh on community seders in 2020 and 2021 and, while it appears we’re not quite done with COVID-19, many people once again want to celebrate in larger groups.
If you’ve been looking for a community to celebrate with, search no further. Read below for a list of seder and Passover-related events that are still open to reservations. Note that this list is not exhaustive, as reservation deadlines for many events have passed. Also note that there are still virtual options.
Many of this year’s seders will reference the war in Ukraine and the resulting refugees.
FRIDAY, APRIL 15
Chabad Lubavitch of Chester County and Western Main Line invites the community to join it at 7:15 p.m. for a seder to remember. The community seder will feature hand-baked matzah, four cups of wine, song and a four-course dinner. RSVP to jewishchestercounty.com/seder.
Prices: adults $60, children $45
Join the Chabad of Penn Wynne for an inspiring community seder at 8 p.m. Come enjoy an elegant four-course meal, wine selection, handmade round shmurah matzah, interactive Haggadah, Kabbalistic insights, singing, a children’s program and friendly company. Located at 7573 Haverford Ave. in Philadelphia. For questions or reservations, call 610-529-9011.
Prices: adults $45, children $25, discounts available.
Hillel’s Jewish Graduate Student Network invites graduate students and young professionals to join the organization in Philadelphia for a kosher Passover meal and retelling of the Passover story. Festive attire is encouraged but not required. Attendees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Located at Penn Hillel, 215 S. 39th St. RSVP required.
Prices: $15-25
FRIDAY and SATURDAY, APRIL 15-16
The Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center invites you to join its seders to “Inspire, educate and enable you to relive the Exodus in a fun and meaningful way.” No one will be turned away due to a lack of funds, but limited spots are available. Located at the Bensalem Jewish Outreach Center. Reservations are required; for more information, call 215-756-4830.
Prices: adults $50 per seder, children (4-12) $25 per seder.
Seniors at Federation Housing’s Goldstein Apartments enjoy a seder in 2018. Courtesy of Federation Housing

Lubavitch House at the University of Pennsylvania is hosting first- and second-night seders at 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on April 15 and April 16, respectively. It is also offering a seder to go for $32 a person and seder plates to go for $15 while supplies last. Register and tell them about your favorite part of the seder at info@LubavitchHouse.com and get additional information at 267-738-8995.

Prices: Free, suggested donation of $22 each.
The B’nai Abraham Chabad welcomes every member of the community regardless of Jewish affiliation or background and invites them to join in its community seders at 8 p.m. The B’nai Abraham Chabad hopes to share the beauty and significance
of this age-old festival with the modern world through the story of the Biblical liberation of the Jewish people. The seders will be at the B’nai Abraham Chabad at 527 Lombard St. in Philadelphia. Register online at phillyshul.com/events.
Prices: Suggested donation of $20 per person and $10 for seniors and students. No one will be turned away for a lack of ability to pay.
Join Main Line Reform Temple for a first-night seder and a second-night seder on Zoom at 5 p.m. both April 15 and 16. The synagogue will screen share a virtual Haggadah put together by Cantor Faryn Rudnick and Rabbi Geri Newburge. On April 15, Shabbat prayers and the Mourner’s Kaddish will be included, so people will also be able to celebrate Shabbat. Interested parties should contact the synagogue at 610-649-7800 for more information.
SATURDAY, APRIL 16
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel hosts a virtual seder at 6 p.m. Join Rabbi Lance J. Sussman, Cantor Amy E. Levy and Ross M. Levy on livestream at kenesethisrael.org/stream. A digital copy of their Haggadah is available on the synagogue website.
SUNDAY, APRIL 17
Sesame Place invites the community to gather at Sesame Street Neighborhood with a local cantor to celebrate with your favorite furry friends and engage with a presentation and singalong. The gathering is set for 1:30-2 p.m. on April 17 and 18. The event will feature a character meet-and-greet as well as photo opportunities.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20
Congregations of Shaare Shamayim invites the community to join the synagogue for a Passover barbecue from 6- 9 p.m. Call 215-677-1600 to RSVP.
Prices: adults $20, children under 13 $13. JE

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