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Organizing a Passover Seder for My Office

I lead a monthly allies-to-Jews RC support group in my Region. In the group we discharge on things we wouldn't normally discharge on -- including early terror and our feelings about our Protestant and Catholic backgrounds. I have noticed how important it is to have other Gentiles with me as I become an ally.

I work in a Christian-based organization with lots of black folks. Last week I organized a Passover Seder for my office. I'd only been to one Seder before, so I got together a team of people to help me organize. They included men and women, blacks, Latinos, and whites. They were almost all Gentiles (as is the office).

I got closer to the few Jews in the office by consulting with them and making jokes about how clueless* we Gentiles are. I didn't want to rely on them to do the work. One good friend shared with me her family's traditions around Seders. The other Jews suggested songs and foods. They seemed to appreciate that a team of Gentiles was taking on the whole event.

Our organizing team invited people personally. That was important. Most folks had never even heard of a seder, much less been to one. I was open with people about my reasons for organizing it. I told them I had grown closer to Jews and had learned that a big part of anti-Semitism is how Gentiles are separated from Jews and don't know anything about them or their culture. While it is important for Jews that we get to know them, it has made a huge difference for me as a Gentile to challenge the ways I have stayed distant from Jews. Getting closer to Jews has made my life better. People seemed to hear that.

I learned a lot from organizing the seder and about a wonderful holiday that is all about freedom.

Alysia Tate
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of African-heritage people

* Clueless means completely uninformed and unaware.


Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00