Get ready for matzo ball soup, Gefilte fish and kugel as temples across southern New Hampshire offer community Passover seders.
While a seder may be held in the family home, community seders allow for congregations to come together and also provide an opportunity for non-members, neighbors in the community and non-Jews to gather and learn more about the holiday of Passover, which begins at sunset on Monday, April 14, and ends on Tuesday, April 22, this year.
Many seders this year will be serving catered kosher dinners, but at Temple Beth Jacob in Concord, it’s a tradition to bring kosher potluck dishes.
At Temple B’nai Israel in Laconia, member Irene Gordon spends her time in the kitchen preparing most of the dinner for the community seder. Everything’s homemade, but cooking can be a challenge since ingredients like flour, or seeds that expand, aren’t allowed.
“We do try to use traditional recipes that have come over from Europe or that have come over from Israel,” Gordon said. “It’s very limited cooking so matzo ball soup is one of the classics that, yes, we eat year ‘round, but especially on Passover.”
Gordon said she sometimes uses cake meal (made of finely ground matzo) as a supplement with eggs and nuts in dessert recipes. This year, she’s making a flourless chocolate cake and apricot mousse for the dessert.
“A lot of people just don’t do a seder at home anymore, so this community seder is a wonderful way to get together,” Gordon said.
Here are some seders on the schedule for this year:
• Chabad Lubavitch NH, located at 7 Camelot Place in Manchester, is holding a community seder with a catered dinner at 7:30 p.m., on Monday, April 14. Reservations are required, and should be placed early by visiting lubavitchnh.com or calling 647-0204. The dinner costs $25 for adults, and $15 for children. Shabbat dinners-to-go will not be available during Passover.
• Temple B’nai Israel, located at 210 Court St. in Laconia, will offer a community seder on Tuesday, April 15, starting at 5 p.m. The seder, led by Rabbi Hannah Orden, will begin at 5:30 p.m. The menu will include items like chopped liver, matzo ball soup, Gefilte fish with homemade horseradish, stuffed turkey roll and desserts. The dinner costs $20 for adults, or $10 for children under 12 years-old. Reservations are required, call Irene at 267-1935. Visit tbinh.org.
• Temple Beth Abraham, located at 4 Raymond St. in Nashua, will hold a community seder from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, with a catered dinner and reading of the Haggadah. Tickets for the dinner cost $36 for adults, $18 for children ages 6 to 12, and children ages 5 and under receive free admission. Call 883-8184 for reservations. Visit tbanashua.org.
• Temple Israel, located at 36 Olive Meadow Lane in Dover, will hold an interactive congregational seder on Tuesday, April 15, at 5:30 p.m. The evening will include a catered kosher meal with options like baked apricot chicken, vegetarian entree, matzo ball soup or Gefilte fish. The dinner costs $40 for adults, $22 for children ages 6 to 12, and no charge to children under 5 years-old (or children not requiring a meal). Reservations required, call 742-3976. Reservations should be placed by Monday, April, 14. Visit dovertemple.org.
• Temple Beth Jacob, located at 67 Broadway in Concord, will offer a potluck community seder dinner on Tuesday, April 15, at 5:45 p.m. Attendees should prepare a Passover dish, cooked and ready to serve, plus a dessert. The dinner costs $10 for adults or $6 for kids ages 6 to 12. Reservations are required, and checks can be sent to Temple Beth Jacob, 67 Broadway, Concord, NH 03301. Visit tbjconcord.org.
• Etz Hayim, located at 1½ Hood Road in Derry, will be offering a community seder on Tuesday, April 15, at 6 p.m. The dinner costs $30 for Etz Hayim adult members, $36 for non-member adults, or $15 for children ages 12 and under. Call 432-0004. Reservations must be paid in advance by noon, Thursday, April 10. Visit etzhayim.org.
• Temple Israel, located at 200 State St. in Portsmouth, will hold a community seder on Tuesday, April 15, at 6 p.m. in its social hall. Call 436-5301 or visit templeisraelnh.org to register.
• Congregation Betenu, located at 5 Northern Blvd. in Amherst, is offering a community potluck seder on Tuesday, April 15, at 6:15 p.m. for a suggested donation of $8 for individuals or $18 for families. Families should bring a main dish, individuals can bring a side dish or dessert prepared kosher for Passover. Open to anyone, but reservations are required and should be placed by Friday, April 11. Call 886-1633, or email email@example.com.
• Temple Israel, located at 66 Salmon St. in Manchester, is offering a community seder with a catered dinner on Tuesday, April 15, at 7 p.m. Reservations must be placed by Friday, April 11. Call Christine at 622-6171. Visit templeisraelmht.org.
As seen in the April 10, 2014 issue of the Hippo.