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On Passover we retell our People’s core story of redemption and freedom. The festival is primarily observed at home, but at Beth El we also create joyful and meaningful opportunities for our community to celebrate together. We hope you’ll join us this year!

First Night Seder Matching (Seder Matching is no longer receiving registrations. If you can host, please contact Yonatan Frisch.)
Are you a Beth El member looking for a seder to attend on the first night of Passover (Monday April 22nd)? Do you have an extra seat or two at the seder you are hosting on the first night of Passover? Whether you’re looking for a spot or have room at your table, please fill out our First Night Seder Matching form! Our Beth El Ritual Committee and staff will match hosts with guests. In order to allow our hosts enough time to prepare, please be sure to add your information to the form no later than Sunday April 7th. Out of respect to our generous hosts, we are unable to accommodate late requests.

Modern Haggadot:  Ancient Texts, New Meanings
Infusing our Seders with meaning with Rabbi Lee Bycel
Wednesday, April 10th from 7:00-8:30pm
Beit Midrash

Since the 1960s, many groups and individuals have infused the traditional Haggadah with contemporary creativity, addressing pressing societal issues. Themes spanning social and political oppression, feminism, secular Judaism, LGBTQ+ rights, civil rights, and Jews in recovery, to name but just a few, have spurred the creation of personalized Haggadot. Over the years, I've collected hundreds of these unique interpretations. In our discussion, we'll explore these creative Haggadot, aiming to spark ideas on revitalizing the ancient text with relevance and resonance for Passover this year.

Festival Morning Service
Tuesday, April 23rd at 10:15am
Beit Midrash and on Zoom

Join us to celebrate the first morning of Pesach week at our festival morning service! We’ll enjoy the special texts of the season at this intimate and joyful service.

Second Night Congregational Seder
Tuesday, April 23rd from 5:00-7:30pm
Beth El Sanctuary

Our joyful and delicious congregational seder returns this year to our beautiful Sanctuary! Join Rabbi Bekah, Cantor Elaya, the Beth El Chorus, Beth El friends old and new and friends from our Building Interfaith Bridges initiative as we together enjoy a festive and musical Pesach celebration and a delicious Kosher-for-Passover meal. The seder will include singing from our Beth El Chorus and will be accessible and meaningful for participants of all ages! Let all who are hungry come and eat! Register here by April 15th. There is no Zoom option for the seder - we look forward to celebrating with you in person outdoors at Beth El!

Volunteer Appreciation Shabbat Chol Ha’moed Pesach & 4th Friday
Friday, April 26th
Pre-service reception at 5:00pm
Service at 6:15pm
Dinner at 7:30pm

One of the things that makes our Beth El community so special are the many incredible volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents in such a wide variety of ways. The volunteer-staff partnership is what makes everything possible! Please join us to celebrate and be celebrated at this special 4th Friday Shabbat service during Passover week! We’ll kick off this joyful evening with a kosher for Passover pre-service reception, and conclude with a celebratory dinner! To ensure that we have enough food for everyone, please RSVP here.

Building Interfaith Bridges: Practicing Hope in the Face of Despair
Sunday, April 28th from 1:00-3:00pm
Beit Midrash

Join with clergy and community members from All Souls Episcopal Parish, Congregation Beth El, and St. Paul AME Church as we turn to shared texts and to the comfort of being in community to practice hope in the face of the despair of this time. This is the next in the series of dedicated Building Interfaith Bridges events that we have held over the years to deepen and strengthen our relationships across lines of difference in our broader Berkeley community. A catered, kosher for Passover lunch will be provided. So that we know how much food to prepare, please RSVP by Thursday, April 18th.

Passover Yizkor Circle (at 5:00pm) & Service (at 6:15pm)
Monday April 29th 

Our Beth El Yizkor Circle is a facilitated gathering for anyone remembering a loved one who has died, no matter how recently. It is an opportunity to speak about the people we have lost, our experiences of mourning and grief, and the journey of healing and memory. Our losses compound over time, especially as we have lived through the challenges of the last few years, and the need for community is more important than ever in our healing. Our Yizkor Circle will be held in person in the Beit Midrash; there is no Zoom option for the Yizkor Circle. 

Yizkor is our tradition’s dedicated memorial service; an intentional time and space to name and acknowledge the presence of the absence of important people in our lives who have died. Yizkor is recited on Yom Kippur and the three ancient pilgrimage festivals: Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot. This year’s Pesach Yizkor service will be held in the Beit Midrash, beginning at 6:15pm and will be mixed presence. All are invited to attend either in-person or on Zoom.

Thu, April 18 2024 10 Nisan 5784