Chabad hosts Passover Seder in LSC

Passover - Shalom
Passover – Shalom (Photo credit: paurian)

After spending an entire day preparing food to serve to nearly 200 students and community members, the Chabad Jewish student organization hosted a Passover Seder in the LSC North Ballroom last night.

“I do the chicken every year, and it’s like 200-something pounds of chicken,” said Trevor Heyman, junior nutrition dietetics major. “It’s something I feel is important. It’s a big community event — a lot of people show up obviously, and I try and do my part.”

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Heyman said that he spent between four and five hours in the kitchen on Sunday working on the chicken alone.

Preparation for the Seder involved cooking familiar, delicious foods that are known to Jews from many years of Passover Seders, according to Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik, head of the Chabad student organization. Gorelik and his wife oversaw the cooking and other pre-Seder preparations.

“[The Seder] is quite a production, and we couldn’t do it without this community here,” Gorelik said.

One of the difficulties of producing the large amount of Seder food is the specific requirement necessary to make it kosher for Passover, according to Zack Josephs, freshman English and philosophy major and secretary of CSU’s Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. Josephs said that Sunday cooking for the Seder lasted from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Alpha Epsilon Pi co-hosted the Passover Seder and contributed both to preparing and cleaning up the event.

“The toughest part about [preparing the Passover Seder food] is that we have to do it based on kosher guidelines, and so every surface that is uncovered, we really have to cover that with aluminum foil, keep certain things from touching other things, and it all has to be rabbinically approved as well,” Josephs said. “It’s rather difficult in that regard, but we probably had 10 to 15 people from AEPi, from the Jewish community, and from the Chabad, and some workers from the dining services at any given time in the kitchen.”

Andrew Allsup, a sophomore natural sciences major and another AEPi member who attended the Passover Seder, said contributing to such events is important to his fraternity.

“Doing something like this for the community through AEPi shows recognition of us, but also gives us a little credibility and gives us an opportunity to give back to the community,” Allsup said.

In a speech to the Passover Seder attendees Rabbi Gorelik began the event by saying that Passover is something that is very relevant to students and the community today.

“Yes, on the one hand, Seder and the Passover dinner is celebrating the exodus, the liberation, of the Jews thousands of years ago when they left Egypt,” Gorelik said. “But really, if you look closely at all the various things that we do — there are 15 steps in the Seder — you can actually reflect back on your own journey. Each and every one of us are on our own journey, and we are also looking for self-liberation. As human beings, the only way to progress is when there is resistance.”

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Collegian Reporter Ellie Mulder can be reached at news@collegian.com