Some 20 rabbis, imams, ministers and leaders of other religious organizations came together last week to share a seder dinner, hosted by Montgomery County Council Vice President Sidney Katz (D-District 3).
“The idea actually came from Laurie Edberg from my staff,” Katz said. “I’ve gone to vigils when the interfaith community came together right after [the] Pittsburgh [synagogue shooting] and again after [the] New Zealand [mosque massacre.] We ought to have something where people come together for a reason that is not a tragic event.”
The kosher vegetarian seder was planned by Katz’ chief of staff, Lisa Mandel-Trupp, so that all faiths were respected, substituting grape juice for traditional Passover wine. “We wanted everyone to feel comfortable,” Katz explained.
Rabbi Janet Ozur Bass, a teacher at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, led the seder with her husband, Hazzan Henrique Ozur Bass, who brought his guitar and led the music.
“Music is a universal experience and touches every faith community in a way that words can’t,” Rabbi Ozur Bass said. “ Words can divide; music brings people together.”
Rabbi Ozur Bass handed out individual mirrors during the seder and asked participants to look at themselves.
“When we look at ourselves, we tend to see our imperfections,” she said. “So I then had them hold out the mirror at arm’s length. When we move the mirror father back, we can see the bigger picture and see the creative genius of God within each of us. When we see God’s creativity within ourselves, then we can fall in love with what is divine within all human beings.”