Jewish families are more diverse than ever before. Most families I know include individuals from a wide variety of background origins, life experiences, and cultures. Think about those who will attend your Passover Seder.
I imagine the majority of us will welcome around our tables spouses, children, and extended relatives, gracious, loving family members and friends who bring diverse perspectives on what we are celebrating. Recently, I contributed to a Haggadah supplement designed to embrace this diversity. Here is what I wrote.
When asked to answer the question, “Who is a Jew?” I answer like this. A Jew is someone who can tell the story of the Jewish people as his or her own. It’s not a halakhic answer. It is a personal measure of identity and continuity.
Our Jewish story is accessible to all who appreciate the gifts and blessings of their lives, to everyone who is grateful for human dignity and equality, freedom and goodness. Our Jewish narrative provides all who wish them standards of personal ethics and celebrations to mark the seasons and milestones of life.
Celebrating Passover, we focus on our story. Gathering with our families and friends at our Seder tables, let’s pause, put down our Haggadot, and talk to each other. Recognizing our different backgrounds and life experiences, let’s be sure to tell personal stories and anecdotes, stories from our past and stories that imagine our future.
Around the Seder Table, the stories we tell each other become part of our family’s lore and our people’s story. Everyone’s addition is welcome because the Jewish story, our shared story, is continually enriched by our diversity of memories and insights.
I wish you and all those with whom you celebrate a happy and meaningful Passover – Hag Sameah v’Kasher!