Seventh Graders Participate in a Special Edot Seder
Yair Bernstein, MS Jewish Studies
Last week, BZ 7th graders had the opportunity to enjoy a special Edot Seder. An Edah (Edot in plural) is used to refer to sub-ethnic groups in the Jewish community such as Ashkenazi (Jewish from Europe), Moroccan, Yemenites, and Libyan. The goal was to introduce the students to the various ways Jews around the world celebrate Pesach and how they can sometimes be very different from the "Ashkenormative" ways many of our students are familiar with, which builds their appreciation for the diversity of the Jewish people.
In preparation for the Seder, the students spent two weeks researching the various Edot. They found the countries on the map, read about the Jewish communities in those countries, the special Seder customs they have and some students even contacted individuals in those Edot to interview them.
After, students used the Innovation Hub to create centerpieces, Matzah Covers and clothing that represent the Edah they were researching. During the Seder, the students read paragraphs from the Haggadah and participated in the various customs they learned about. Some hit their friends with scallions during "Dayenu" (Persian Jews), some ran out of the room with half a matzah while their friends were shouting "Ganav, Ganav! - thief, thief!” (Libyan Jews) and some read Ma Nishtana in Arabic (Moroccan Jews) or Ladino (Syrian Jews), some put on a play and so on. Students also had different charoset from each one of those Edot to taste! It was such a wonderful experience that the students left asking for more!

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