The University Hillel sponsored a Passover Seder in Hunt Formal on April 13 to share food, song, prayer, and other traditions. The dinner was held from 5:30-7 p.m. and was open to the campus. Many students remained at the event until closer to 9 p.m. because additional songs and prayers were being performed.
Approximately 130 people attended including students, faculty, staff, and community members, making the dinner the largest Seder in at least 12 years. Many students invited non-Jewish peers to let them experience their culture and traditions and bring the campus together.
“It was nice that a lot of non-Jewish individuals were there to share the story of the Jewish people,” Jewish student Dannah Strauss ’17 said.
Jillian Crooks ’17, a non-Jewish student in attendance, was surprised by how much she learned at the dinner.
“As a student who is not affiliated with the Jewish religion, being welcomed with open arms and delicious food into the Jewish community for the night was a fantastic feeling,” Crooks said. “The Rabbi went above and beyond throughout the services to explain the meaning behind the Passover traditions for those who might have never been to a seder before.”
The dinner included many Passover ceremonies and traditions. Rabbi Chana Leslie Glazer included student members of the Hillel in the lighting of the candles to officially begin the Seder, and a microphone was passed around the tables so that those in attendance could join in the prayer.
“The rabbi included the Hillel student board in the lighting of the candles to officially begin the Seder. Throughout the prayers the microphone was passed down the length of the tables so attendees could participate in the traditions,” Crooks said.
University President John Bravman attended the event and gave a blessing for the First Cup of Wine for that evening’s Seder, and students appreciated his support of the event.
A Kosher-for-Passover dinner was served, including the traditional seder plate that included Matzah, a shankbone, an egg, horseradish or bitter herbs, Charoset paste, and vegetables. The main course included traditional foods such as roasted chicken, roasted potatoes, and asparagus.
“It was long and many were hungry, but the wine helped,” Strauss said.
“It’s very important that Bucknell continues to offer opportunities for people of all (or no) religious affiliations to explore the customs and traditions of different religions in spaces that are safe, comforting, and educational. I learned a lot about Judaism by attending the dinner and wish that I had attended a Passover seder prior to my final semester on campus. I now know that if I walked into the Hillel house on any given day, I would be welcomed and made to feel at home,” Crooks said.
“We want people to know about us and to know us,” the Rabbi said.
Jewish Life offers Passover Seders, lunches and dinners throughout Passover in Hunt Formal, and all students are welcome.