NuRoots’ third-annual Collective Escape, a pop-up, citywide Passover experience was our most successful one yet! Over the eight days of Passover we offered five unique Seder experiences for young people in their 20s and 30s all over the city, from Venice to Los Feliz.
Collective Escape was created to give NuRoots community members the chance to experience Passover in an accessible, unique, and relevant way.
This year’s theme was “Order in Disorder,” a set of experiences designed for the festival goers to escape the daily grind and to reflect on what freedom means to them. Through retelling the Exodus story, we discovered newfound strength in oppressive times, explored what’s really enslaving us, and found a sense of community, power, and celebration.
Over 300 community members followed the yellow brick road in our Passover the Rainbow Wizard of Oz-themed Seder, learned about social justice in our Tikkun Anashim (Heal the People) Seder, served the Israel Levin Center seniors in our Seaside Senior Seder, and laughed uncontrollably in our Stand Up, Sit Down Seder.
On Thursday, April 5th, over 35 young adults gathered at Blue Rooster Art, which had been transformed into a Passover Portal. Through meditation, numerology, and sacred geometry rooted in stories and themes of Passover, the goal of this experience was to create a space where people could feel free from the burdens of daily life.
Upon arrival, guests contributed their thoughts on a giant banner that read, “What Freedom Means to Me.” Once inside, they were invited to explore the themes of sacred geometry by folding origami into paper frogs to represent the plagues.
After settling in, community co-creator Katie Felber led the group in a discussion on numerology, specifically focusing on the number “4” in Passover (the 4 cups of wine, 4 sons, 4 elements in nature, 4 seasons, and so on). NuRoots’ eastside Fellow Erika Brooks Adickman read a passage from her family’s haggadah about how the meaning of “freedom” changes from generation to generation. Attendees finished off the memorable evening with light yoga, mandala-coloring, journaling, and self-reflection.
Co-Creator Katie felt proud to bring her idea to life and is already talking about co-creating another experience with NuRoots.
LAST NIGHT: Breaking Bread was the culmination of Collective Escape. Celebrating the end of Passover (and thus the end of matzah) and reimagining the Persian-Jewish tradition of Chamesi, over 100 community members were treated to an impressive spread of leavened-carb-heavy bites from MH ZH, Pop’s Bagels, AvocaToast LA, Prime Pizza, Challah Hub, California Donuts, and more! The formidable jazz trio Fitch and the Fog had the crowd in full swing and capped off the impressive evening with a warm havdalah ritual. The experience was thrown in partnership with our good friends at OneTable and the Federation’s own Y&S Nazarian Iranian Young Leadership Initiative.
To learn more about NuRoots, e-mail NuRoots@JewishLA.org.