Activities

Ahava ‘Aina to Host Passover Seder in Hilo

April 17, 2022, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated April 14, 2:56 PM
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Ahava ‘Aina invites everyone to come together and celebrate not only Passover, but the journey to a new future.

The nonprofit, on a mission to heal the world and build the first Jewish cultural community center and synagogue in East Hawai‘i, is hosting a Passover Seder for the community Saturday, April 23, at the Grand Naniloa Hotel in Hilo. The Seder begins at 5:30 p.m., with Aloha Mondays and Sweet Cane Café providing the food, along with donations from Hawai‘i Ulu Co-op.

Food for the Passover Seder will be provided by Aloha Mondays and Sweet Cane Café, along with donations from Hawai‘i Ulu Co-op. (Photo courtesy of Ahava ‘Aina)

There also will be music by Russell Ruderman and the Ahava ‘Aina Jewish Jam Band.

“Everyone is welcome – all faiths, all beliefs, all ages – to join us for a cultural community experience,” said Ahava ‘Aina founder and leader Rabbi Rachel Short, who will lead the service, in a press release.

Traditionally hosted during the first nights of Passover, this year’s Seder is being conducted as Passover is ending.

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“I believe us hosting Seder on the final night this year has deep spiritual significance; it represents our very own exodus, celebrating the ending of a tumultuous time, moving forward towards a new, brighter future — our own journey into the promised land,” said Short in the press release. “We get to leave the past behind, and carry this feeling of being together as one, in community, again, forward with us.”

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Short also believes there’s a special connection to Hawaiian culture, as this year’s Seder coincides with the end of the Merrie Monarch Festival.

“Just as Merrie Monarch makes its triumphant return to Hilo and we get to celebrate and conclude this year’s festival, we will gather for a (somewhat) traditional Passover Seder to celebrate the ending of our Passover festival, celebrating the journey from slavery to freedom,” Short said in the press release. “There are so many exciting things to celebrate in Hilo right now as we begin our exodus from what I have been calling the 11th plague.”

In-person seating for the Seder is limited, so those interested in attending should reserve tickets by clicking here. The Seder also will be streamed online.

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“I hope people will join us in celebration of liberation, freedom, community, miracles, creation, abundance and so much more, in this awe-inspiring spiritual experience rooted in ancestral wisdom and tradition,” Short said in the release. “We need this now more than ever.”

All proceeds from the event benefit Ahava ‘Aina, which is in the process of planning many other community activities, events and projects this year.

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