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This past Friday, sophomore Wes Goodrich hosted a Passover seder for a small group of students. Wes is one of the few Jewish individuals on campus, and he was interested in bringing together a variety of religions and denominations for discussion and a meal. When I arrived, the table had already been set, and food presentation was just starting. The fact that the table was already set (with a tablecloth AND cloth napkins!) was a bit startling for a student who eats nearly every meal buffet-style in the Cafeteria. Once everyone had been seated, Wes recited a Hebrew blessing and lit the candles on the table. We then passed around a plate of matzoh crackers (flat crackers symbolizing the unleaved bread baked by Hebrew slaves as they fled Egypt), green bean pate to spread on the matzoh, gefilte fish and horseradish, a relish plate, couscous, baked chicken, and some incredibly delicious asparagus. There was also matzoh ball soup, apples and cheese, and a chocolate cake for dessert. During the meal, we caught up on each other’s lives, discussed our classes, issues on campus, and just had a good time in general. This meal was a prime example of the kind of community that occurs at Bethel – students preparing and eating a meal together in a mutually respectful space, recognizing differences and commonalities, and enjoying each other’s company.
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