What does it take to organize “the world's biggest Passover seder?” 130 kilos of matza, 3,000 hard boiled eggs, 100 kilos of haroset (the apple/date/wine concoction used in the seder) – and 2,000 portions of gefilte fish. That, at least, is what the Absorption Ministry thinks it needs in order to throw a seder for 1,300 members of Israel's Ethiopian immigrant community, who live in the Tel Aviv area.
The Ministry is sponsoring the seder along with the “Aviv Hatorah” educational organization that operates in the Ethiopian community. Yeshiva students who are active in the organization will run the seder, helping participants understand what is going on and getting the most out of the experience. The “master of ceremonies” will be Rabbi Yehuda Sahala, a well-known rabbi in the Ethiopian community, and it will take place at the Gallery Palace catering hall, on the Jaffa-Holon border.
The participants are among 400 families that have been “adopted” by Aviv Hatorah, which helps them with adjusting to life in Israel, and ensuring a positive Jewish education and activities for community youth. The organization runs after-school programs for children from first grade and up, as well as educational and cultural activities for adults.
In a statement, the Absorption Ministry said that “the seder experience is one of the most important for an immigrant to Israel. After working with the community on a regular basis, we decided to take the initiative and organize the seder, and when we saw how much interest there was, we decided to try and aim for a world's record for the largest seder in the world – in the hope that the record we set will be broken next year.”
The Ministry thanked Aviv Hatorah for its efforts, without which, the statement said, the seder could not take place. An official from the organization said that Aviv Hatorah saw participating in the seder as a great privilege. “There is no better time than Passover to open our hearts and give joy to our brothers,” the spokesperson added.