The Preservation Society’s sixth annual Interfaith Community Passover Seder was held on April 10, 2016. As we do every year at this time, we gather to retell the ancient story of the liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. We read poems, sing songs and taste the traditional symbolic foods associated with the holiday. And as we remember that ancient struggle and the liberation, we honor the struggles for freedom and justice around the world that continue today.
The tradition requires not only that we tell the story but also that we see ourselves as having been liberated in Egypt. The central theme of the Seder is that the Exodus story is not just a Jewish story but rather a human story that lies at the heart of what it means to be a free man or woman. The rabbis have referred to the Seder – the reenactment of the Exodus – as a call to action. Our Community Seder, which opens and closes with the sounding of the Shofar, is designed to stir participants to work together to insure not only that all are free but in doing so – that the world be made into a better, more peaceful and more beautiful place. We are directed to be sensitive to the struggles of others. We are instructed to be concerned with the rights and wellbeing of strangers, the homeless and the impoverished. If we experience oppression we may be better able to understand the pain of the oppressed.
This year we honor the Killingly-Brooklyn Interfaith Council for its leadership in the renewal of spiritual and community life in Northeastern Connecticut. This Council has supported the mission and programming of the Preservation Society from the very beginning and we sincerely value our partnership with the Council in working to enrich the cultural, social, spiritual and religious wellbeing of the community.
Among its many worthy endeavors, the Council has supported the Brooklyn-Danielson Fuel Fund and Food Ministries. It has partnered with member faith communities in important celebrations, special services and community events such as the World Day of Prayer, Good Friday Procession, Easter sunrise Service, Creation service at Davis Park and many others. And, of course, the Council has been a strong supporter and friend of the Preservation Society at important celebrations such as our Passover Seder, the High Holidays, Chanukah, and the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service which last year celebrated its sixtieth observance.
We at the Preservation Society cherish our friendship with the Council. We recall that a mere sixty some years ago a small band of Jews, many of them our parents, settled in the Killingly area and were welcomed and supported by the local congregations, many of them members of the Council. The passage of time has strengthened our friendship and we are delighted to work side by side with the Council on making our community stronger in body and spirit.