Converts practice Pesach Seder

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Yoni Kempinski,

Practicing for the seder night
Practicing for the seder night
Yuval Yosef

Israel's "Ami Conversion Ulpan" held practice Pesach (Passover) seders for their students, all of whom are studying in preparation for their conversion to Judaism.

Included in the practice seder were grape juice (or wine), bitter herbs, matzot, and a complete Haggadah reading.

All of the students have been learning about Pesach for some time, and gathered this week at a table set exactly the way it will be set on the first night of Pesach. For most of these students, this practice seder is the first time they have done any kind of Pesach seder.

At the end of the seder, all of the students learned the traditional songs sung at the end of seders all over the world.

Elyasaf Richolsky, who teaches at Ami's Tel Aviv branch, blessed the soon-to-be converts saying, "The seder night is the night we became a free, proud nation. It's the birthday of the Jewish people, a thousand years ago.

"All over the world, Jews have marked the Pesach seder for generations, in a long and unbroken chain of tradition. This year, you, too will become part of the Jewish nation.

"There is no doubt that your choice to join the Jewish people shows you have a true and deep connection with our nation and our history. The Jewish people are waiting for you, and will accept you with open arms."

Orah, a student who participated in the practice seder, said "In our family, we never celebrated the seder, despite the fact that my father is Jewish. I heard a few stories in preschool, and I heard some more stories in my school here in Israel. But this is the first time I truly understood the seder's meaning, and the idea that each generation tells the next the story of our liberation from Egypt.

"Soon, I will finish my conversion process, and my children will be Jews. They, too, will tell their children the story of he Haggadah, around the seder table."

Ami CEO Karmi Ronen said, "We place an emphasis on the students' connection to important dates, such as Jewish holidays and other important dates. Pesach is a central holiday, it's when we became a free nation. It's when we told the world that they could be free, too."

Ami General Manager Naftali Kendler said, "We are happy all these thousands of converts have joined our nation. We're proud Ami has succeeded in helping thousands of new Jews connect to Judaism. We hope we will continue to succeed in preparing thousands of converts for their conversion and helping them add their unique contributions to the Jewish nation."



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