The Magid – the story of the Israelites’ journey from slavery to freedom – now begins.
Avadim hayinu l’Pharaoh b’Mitzrayim.
We were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt.
As we retell our story, we hold in our minds and inscribe on our hearts the stories of the millions of people across the globe who still yearn to be free.
Pour the second cup of wine.
- Ha Lachma Anyah -
Ha lachma anyah di achalu av’hatanah v’ar’ah d’Mitzrayim. Kol dich’fin yay-tay v’yaichol, kol ditzrich yay-tay v’yifsach. Hashatah hacha, l’shanah ha’ba’ah b’ar’ah d’Yisrael. Hashatah avdei, l’shanah ha’ba’ah b’nei chorin.
This is the bread of affliction, the poor bread, that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat, all who are in need come and celebrate Passover with us. This year we are here; next year we will be in Israel. This year we are slaves; next year we will be free.
Participant: In fall 2015, with the Syrian refugee crisis making headlines on a daily basis, Melina Macall and Kate McCaffrey each reached out to their rabbi, Elliott Tepperman, to find out how the Jewish community in their New Jersey town was responding. He connected the two, and they teamed up to start the Syria Supper Club in an attempt to change the narrative around refugees. Their first program brought Syrian refugees and members of the local Jewish community together for the “traditional” Jewish version of Christmas dinner: Chinese food.
The two organizers then saw a chance to create a platform for breaking down stereotypes and building mutual understanding in the midst of an often toxic debate around refugees. With food and camaraderie as the common denominators, Macall and McCaffrey conceived of the supper club as a way to create additional pathways to increased independence for resettled refugees in their community who were just getting on their feet in a new country. They also wanted to encourage more people to seek out first-hand encounters with refugees beyond what they read in the news.
The duo began hosting dinners at which refugee cooks would prepare the meal for an assortment of guests. Proceeds go toward supporting the cooks and their families as they begin their new lives. More than 100 dinners later, they have dozens of cooks eager to participate, and the dinners often sell out several weeks in advance.
“On the one hand, you can look at this and just say, ‘Hey, it’s just a dinner party,’” explains Macall. “And on the other hand, you can say, ‘You know what? It’s actually a radical act saying we have faith in humanity.’”
Group: Meeting face to face and breaking bread together blurs the distance between a perceived “us” and “them,” between “refugees” and “non-refugees.” May all find themselves welcome at this table, regardless of how long they have called this country home.
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