Jewish Journal

WATCH: Refugee Passover Seder in Holot

by Jeremy Elster

May 13, 2014 | 5:01 am

Last month, Jews around the world celebrated the holiday of Passover. At our Seder tables, we retell the story of the Israelites exodus from Egypt and liberation from slavery and oppression. Since 2007, Israelis and Internationals have organized annual "Refugee Seders" to recognize the modern day exodus of 60,000 asylum seekers from African countries who have come to Israel. Israel Social TV covered last year's Refugee Seder held at Levinsky Park near the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. This year marked the first refugee seder to be held at the Holot detention facility in the Negev, where 1500 asylum seekers are being imprisoned indefinitely. 

For more information about Holot, read Simone Wilson's post in the Jewish Journal.

For more information about Refugees in Israel, watch Israel Social TV's Refugee Edition with footage from 2007-2014.

Rabbi Susan Silverman, a Jerusalem resident and social change activist for Women of the Wall and refugee rights in Israel, attended the Seder and spoke to the crowd. Afterwards, clearly motivated by the injustice of indefinite detention and the dismal percentage of acceptance of refugee applications by the Israeli government, she told Israel Social TV, "God commanded us that we are obligated to take care of the stranger among us, but I can tell you this is not the way to go about it. That imprisoning people who came to us for help, is not the way to go about it and it is contrary to everything, everything Jewish that I know."

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Jeremy Elster is a Southern Californian native and New Israel Fund/SHATIL Social Justice Fellow working as the International Communications Coordinator for Israel Social TV...

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