Celebrants fill Vestry Room for Passover seder

A record crowd for the Terre Haute diaspora era of more than 50 people filled the Vestry Room for the annual community Passover seder Friday, April 19, at United Hebrew Congregation.

Herschel Chait led Kabbalat Shabbat in the sanctuary and, adorned in seasonal matzoh tie and kippah, shared seder-hosting duties with Temple president Betsy Frank.

Listen to audio and view photos from the event, and check out Chistina’s Best Charoses recipe!

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A joyous group will celebrate Passover on Friday, April 19, at the Temple

By Betsy Frank

What is the holiday celebrated by most Jews, no matter their observance level? You have three guesses and the first two don’t count.

And the answer is … Passover! The Passover story that we recount every year represents the seminal event in the history of our people. This story sets the stage for our ongoing spiritual development.

Passover is the one holiday that really needs a joyous group in order to have a meaningful celebration. And we will celebrate! Join us for for a Kabbalat Shabbat and seder at 6 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Temple.

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Religious school students pool tzedakah resources, plan March 17 Purim celebration

By Debra Israel

I have enjoyed my continuing involvement with UHC religious school, since my daughter, Jennifer, is teaching there. I find our CHAI curriculum can lead students of all ages to think and reflect.

Religious school students are aiming to contribute tzedakah funds toward one good cause per month. During February, they bought three trees to be planted in Israel.

Purim begins the evening of March 20. We hope everyone enjoys the holiday — and the hamentaschen!

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When Hanukkah is not enough: Jews consider their place in Christmas culture

By Student Rabbi Jonathan Falco

December in America is unlike any other month. The cold bite of winter finally sets in, the sky grows dark earlier and consumerism abounds.

A confluence of all these factors gives way to the general feelings of cheeriness that characterize this holiday season. In just about every city, it seems as though we are inundated with fake icicles and the fresh smell of evergreen furs while Nat King Cole takes over the radio and becomes the elevator music a la mode.

Nativity scenes fill suburban lawns and neighbors quietly compete for the best display of Christmas lights in the neighborhood. Every year around this time, many American Jews begin wondering, “What is my relationship to this joyful holiday season that purportedly stems from a holiday that is not my own?”

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