Pesach, known as Passover in English, is a major Jewish spring festival, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt more than 3,000 years ago.The ritual observance of this holiday centers around a special home service called the seder (meaning “order”) and a festive meal; the prohibition of chametz (leaven); and the eating of matzah (an unleavened bread). On the eve of the fifteenth day of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar, we read from a book called the hagaddah, meaning “telling,” which contains the order of prayers, rituals, readings and songs for the Pesach seder. The Pesach seder is the only ritual meal in the Jewish calendar year for which such an order is prescribed, hence its name.

The seder has a number of scriptural bases. Exodus 12:3-11 describes the meal of lamb, unleavened bread and bitter herbs which the Israelites ate just prior to the Exodus. In addition, three separate passages in Exodus (12:26-7, 13:8, 13:14) and one in Deuteronomy (6:20-21) enunciate the duty of the parents to tell the story of the Exodus to their children. The seder plate contains various symbolic foods referred to in the seder itself.

Erev Pesach
Friday, March 30: There will be no services at Temple Israel.
*Please note that this is a change from previous communications.* 

​Since so many in our community will be hosting or attending a first-night Seder on Friday, March 30, we will not hold a Shabbat service at Temple Israel that evening.

​However, because it is a mitzvah to remember our departed loved ones at Pesach, the clergy created a sheet with readings and the mourners’ Kaddish that we encourage you to use at your Seder. It is available here or you can call the office for a copy.

Passover Breakfast and Torah Study
Saturday, March 31, 9:30 a.m.
Topic for study will be “The Spiritual Meaning of Exodus”

Passover and Shabbat Service
Saturday, March 31, 10:30 a.m.

Passover Family Seder
Saturday, March 31, 6 p.m.
Temple Israel’s Passover Family Seder is going beyond the traditional this year and incorporating some fun new surprises! As always, this is a family-friendly gathering, and members of every generation will find something in the new format that brings them joy.

The annual search for the Afikomen is eagerly anticipated by the children in attendance, and this year it’s going to be a real mystery to solve! The story-telling of the Haggadah will allow everyone to participate. And we are adding to the fun with new activities such as Play-Doh Passover illustrations where each table gets to creatively interpret a portion of the Passover story. You’ve never had so much fun at a Seder!

You are invited to join your Temple Israel family for this meaningful holiday at our Seder. Dinner will include matzah ball soup, roast brisket, potato kugel, salad, chocolate-dipped macaroons for dessert, and all the traditional favorites such as charoset, gefilte fish and, of course, lots of matzah. 

Reservations are required! Your payment is your reservation. After March 23, the cost of the dinner increases to: $37 for adults, $24 for children 6-12.​​

​​Concluding Passover Service and Yizkor
Friday, April 6, 10:30 a.m.
If you would like to have the names of your loved ones read at the concluding service, please contact Temple Israel, 402-556-6536 or, by Friday, March 30.