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Welcoming All: An Inclusive Passover Reading


At Passover, we receive a personal directive to create an inclusive and welcoming community. Even when we intend to be welcoming, many in our community still feel like strangers. The things that divide us--race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, among others--also have the power to unite us. During the Seder, we are each meant to remember that we ourselves were once strangers in a strange land. If the Jewish community is to be a home for all, we must make room at the table and share our stories. We hope this supplement will inspire thought, conversation and action; each and every one of us can be the welcome that another needs.

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This short supplement can be inserted after the Maggid or beginning of the Passover Story: "This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need, let him come and conduct the Seder of Passover. This year [we are] here; next year in the land of Israel. This year [we are] slaves; next year [we will be] free people."

Leader: At the start of the Seder, Jews around the world open the doors to their homes and invite all who are hungry to come and eat. We welcome all those who want to join us at our tables, in our homes, and in our community.

Leader: We welcome Jews of all ethnic backgrounds to join us at our table;
All: There are many ways to express and celebrate Jewish traditions.

Leader: We welcome Jews of all races to join us at our table;
All: We learn and grow from many points of view.

Leader: We welcome those who have chosen Judaism to join us at our table;
All: New enthusiasm and energy revitalizes the Jewish people.

Leader: We welcome all those exploring or connected to Judaism to join us at our table;
All: A variety of experiences and understandings strengthen the Jewish people.

Leader: We welcome those of other faiths or traditions to join us at our table;
All: We know that sharing our stories will help build a future of freedom.

All: We welcome all who have ever felt like strangers to our table. Tonight we go forth together for we are all strangers in Egypt.

Optional discussion question - Share a time when you felt like an outsider but were actively welcomed into a new community or space. How did that happen? How did it make you feel?



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