Monday, April 9, 2012

My Favorite Things

Each year, as I begin to prepare for Passover by taking out the boxes of dishes, utensils and assorted necessities from the basement cabinets, I am reminded of seders past and relatives long gone. The joy and comfort I feel as I unwrap these plates, pots, graters and ceremonial items (many of which once belonged to family members) eases the sense of loss that accompanies them. Indeed, Passover is often a time of family challenge: ailing elders, children stressed by exams, transitions for the rest of us. Those making seders are equally burdened by the fast approaching deadline. I am both excited and nervous about making this magic happen each year.

Yet we do it, year after year. Why? Because it is part of who and what we are. A people, changing with the times, growing in new ways, creating traditions unique to each of us.

I love the community I have created by having seders every year. The core group always returns, supplemented each year by newcomers. We do old and new readings, eat the same foods brightened by new recipes, and create new memories by singing favorite songs.

At the Jewish day school where I work, we have created a vibrant school community by joining our institutional memories with the world in which we live. For instance, our students are learning via new technology their ABCs and Aleph Bet, biology and bible study, creative writing and how to make charoset. And its creation is assured by the devoted staff, faculty and parents, dedicated volunteers and generous donors who give of their time and resources to ensure that these youngsters grow into the adults they are meant to be.

Thank you for being a part of my community. May you find joy in your holiday celebrations with families and friends at this very special time of year.