April 24, 2008
Black and Jewish leaders work to rekindle friendships at interfaith seder
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"There is just no substitute for sitting down in the same room, being in each other's presence and just talking," she said.
In fact, many said, this renewed relationship would likely take shape through events that look a lot like the seder held April 17 at Wilshire Boulevard Temple.
"The story we are about to tell is a story of how a broken people was made whole by freedom," said Randy Brown, AJC's L.A. director of interreligious affairs, holding up the matzah. "Later we will share this afikomen, as in days of old when the Passover offering was shared at the service in Jerusalem. Tonight that sharing has special meaning, for, all over the world, the sharing of bread forms a bond of fellowship."
Among the 50 dinner guests was the SCLC's Lee. Though his involvement with the seder predated his much-discussed speech, Lee had offered to stay home if he'd be a distraction. He was told to come.
During dinner, he and Rabbi Stephen Jacobs, emeritus of Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills, said they "have committed to making this a citywide event next year," in the micro-to-macro tradition of Big Sunday, which began at Temple Israel of Hollywood but now is an official day of service in Los Angeles.
"African Americans have always looked at the history of Israel as symbolic to our history," said Lee, who said he has celebrated Passover for years. "God doesn't change. He has always been the God of the oppressed, who delivers from the oppressor."
"Can you actually imagine," Lee continued, "if we lived out the principles of the seder?"
1 | 2