JNF UK’s boardroom was filled with participants for a pre-Pesach Seder on Wednesday (10 April).
Four years ago, KKL Executor and Trustee Company, JNF UK’s Legacy Department, realised that some of their more vulnerable clients are at home alone on Seder night, a time when the community and families are celebrating together. Its response was to organise an interactive client Seder, which has now become a highlight in KKL’s calendar.
Led by David Goodman, Director of Community Relations, a full Seder table together with a festive meal, including wine was provided. There was also transport for those who otherwise would not have been able to attend.
A number of private donors generously sponsored the event, thus ensuring that particularly at this time of the year, people would not be celebrating alone.
Clients warmly participated in the reading of the Haggadah and shared experiences of past Seder nights.
One client recalled how her late grandfather liked to start the Seder with dessert, saying that it was just in case he died before the end of the meal! David Goodman said that this was also a shared custom when he was in the IDF in the 1970s and its aim was to keep everyone engaged. David also spoke a little about how the Israeli army currently prepares for Seder night. It includes ordering no less than 86 tonnes of matzah!
Rabbi Ginsbury from Hendon United Synagogue was a guest speaker and spoke about the Ma Nishtana’s connection to the rest of the Seder service.
Clients sang the Ma Nishtana together with gusto, as well as other songs such as the first paragraph of grace after meals to the tune of ‘Hatikvah’ and the final song, ‘Next year in Jerusalem’.
Through their close ties with JNF UK, those in attendance were not only able to mark the historic story of the exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, but also helped celebrate their own part in strengthening Israel’s future on the day this year’s Israel election results were announced.