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Bitter Herbs and Brisket at Breed Street: Our Community Passover Seder

On April 12th, our Federation’s Community Engagement Strategic Initiative hosted our fourth annual Community Passover Seder at the historic Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights. A once vibrant Jewish neighborhood, it was the perfect setting for this yearly event that brings together local leaders who are helping transform Los Angeles and build a better community for us all.

We filled the shul with a diverse group of leaders, activists and elected officials, from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Consul General of the State of Israel David Siegel to our Federation’s President and CEO, Jay Sanderson. Guiding us through the journey of our ancestors’ slavery in Egypt was Rabbi Noah Farkas from Valley Beth Shalom synagogue.

The room was filled with such incredible and interesting individuals who shared their stories and wisdom, which made this Seder even more special for all of us.  Mayor Garcetti broke the middle matzah and interpreted this tradition. We were also treated to a rendition of a song that Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin sang with his grandparents at Passover during his youth. Our Federation’s Chair of the Board Julie Platt explained the significance behind why some families now place an orange on their Seder plates, and board members Cece Feiler and Daniel Gryczman spoke about the symbols of matzah and wine.

Many elected officials and activists shared their personal stories tying to the themes of Passover including retired Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. Among the topics broached was the modern-day plague of homelessness in our city — and what we are all doing and can still do to address this critical issue.

Consul General David Siegel concluded the evening speaking fittingly about “next year in Jerusalem.”

Special thanks to board member Jesse Gabriel, who led the charge in executing this annual event, which has grown tremendously since its inception — once again proving that no matter how diverse we are, we all share a love of freedom.

For more information about Community Engagement, visit www.JewishLA.org/ce, or contact Alana Schwartz at (323) 761-8341 or ASchwartz@JewishLA.org.

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