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.
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 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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