CSU Passover Seder brings together Jewish community through tradition

Matt Gindin

The Passover Seder event creates a home away from home for those in the Jewish community by embracing tradition.

Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik painstakingly looks at each lettuce leaf to be sure no insects are present as that would violate Kosher law. The lettuce is part of a larger Kosher Passover dinner event that is going on tomorrow night in the LSC.(photo credit: Madison Brandt)
Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik painstakingly looks at each lettuce leaf to be sure no insects are present as that would violate Kosher law. The lettuce is part of a larger Kosher Passover dinner event that is going on tomorrow night in the LSC.(photo credit: Madison Brandt)

The Chabad Jewish Student Organization will be hosting its 10th annual Passover Seder April 3. The group is expecting around 200 participants. The event will be held in the CSU Lory Student Center’s West Ballroom.

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CSU’s Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi will be involved with the event that is being sponsored by ASCSU and the LSC.

The Seder follows the Exodus story of the Jews leaving bondage in Egypt, according to Danielle Geller, Chabad president and CSU senior and human development and family studies major.

“Passover is one of the most important holidays that we have, it symbolizes our freedom and coming out from slavery,” Geller said.  “We tell the whole story of the Exodus from Egypt (during the Seder)”.

The CSU Passover Seder offers a unique experience to participates, according to Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik.

“You know this is not a very large Jewish population, so many people don’t really have family or friends to go to and so we become the family and friends,” Gorelik said. “It is certainly one of my favorites for sure.”

CSU students like Mathew Mehrian, Chabad member and graduate physics major, also said he appreciates how the Chabad Student Organization brings people together for Passover.

“I’ve been going to the Chabad Pesach (Passover) Sedar ever since I started college, and it’s always a great and insightful experience,” Mehrian said. “They give us a place to go to during times when we would usually be with our families”.

In tradition with Passover customs, the event will not have any leavened products like bread, but will feature many Jewish delicacies including hand-baked matzo, matzo ball soup and gefilte fish. The hand-baked matzo is particularly unique because most Matzo is machine made, according to Gorelik. Also, the Seder will feature ritual food items such as charoset and horseradish that reflect the story of the Exodus.

Following the dietary laws are of utmost importance to many Jews observing Passover.

“The dietary rules of Pesach are very important, and so the Chabad on campus provides us with the Seder as well as the food,” Mehrian said.

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In addition to holding the Seder and having a meal, the event typically involves many other activities.

“We sing songs, traditional and contemporary, we have skits throughout the dinner, so there’s just a lot of excitement,” Gorelik said. “At the same time we offer explanations behind the traditions that we do. … We show that Judaism isn’t something ancient and archaic but is very relevant.”

Collegian Reporter Matt Gindin can be reached at news@collegian.com.