Sweet Seder – Judaism and iAM Youth Ministry’s Experience

As we live out the meaning of #TOGODEVERYONEMATTERS, the iAM Youth Ministry committed to living out our call to be a “Church with a Heart for the Community.”

On Sunday, April 24th, we invited and welcomed Mr. Andy, a member of the Jewish faith, to speak to us about Judaism, the similarities and differences of what we believe and what the Jews believe, and the Passover Seder. Afterwards, the Youth group at Congregation Beth Israel hosted David Chapel’s iAM Youth Ministry at their annual “Sweet Seder.”

Together the Youth had several chances to get to know each other through games and activities. Passover celebrates the Jewish freedom from slavery in Egypt. The Seder, a festive holiday meal, means “order.” The meal is done in a certain order which goes from slavery to freedom. The Haggadah – which means “the telling” – is the book used at the Passover Seder.

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The Haggadah explains the foods on the Seder plate, recounts the highlights of the Exodus, and includes songs, prayers and questions. Seders are meant to be low-key and fun, informative, and provide an opportunity to bring the experience to life. After all, the Jews were celebrating the fact that they are not slaves anymore. The Sweet Seder had an extra festive twist, as they replaced traditional foods with candy and chocolate!

Karmen summarizes her experience on behalf of the iAM Youth Ministry:

Going to the Temple was a new experience. We got to play a game to get to know each other. I thought it was nice to meet new friends. Once we started to participate in the Passover, I thought it was very informative. I knew the Jewish people were slaves, but sometimes we forget as African Americans that we were not the only people who were in bondage. I thought the Matzah tasted like a cracker. I also liked how they told the story of how the people had to leave in a hurry and that is why the bread did not rise. I enjoyed Mr. Andy coming to explain first what we were going to experience before we got there. Once inside I felt totally prepared.

It opened my eyes as an 11 year old to other cultures and customs. My mom had taught us about the Jewish people. I also learned some Jewish traditions in my Social Studies class when were talking about religions. It helped me understand more clearly being at the Sweet Seder. It made the Bible come alive for me. It was also good to have all the sweets that represented the Passover that the Orthodox Jews eat. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun. I would go again!
Our goal is to understand each other better in hopes to foster a greater sense of community and love amongst everyone just as God loves us!