Rabbi Anchelle Perl, Cantor Irene Failenbogen and Rabbi Jack Dermer 

Rabbi Anchelle Perl, Cantor Irene Failenbogen and Rabbi Jack Dermer  Credit: Danielle Silverman;Failenbogen Family Photo ; Phil Schoenfeld

Families, friends and congregations across Long Island will gather after sundown on April 22 to celebrate the ritual Passover seder meal. This week’s clergy recall past seders filled with prayer, song, symbolic foods and other traditions commemorating the Israelites’ emancipation from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Rabbi Jack Dermer

Temple Beth Torah, Westbury  

Each year as spring blooms, the Passover seder provides an opportunity for everyone around the table, young or old, Jewish or not, to reflect on the story of their lives with reference to the timeless lessons of the biblical Exodus story. Every seder I’ve participated in has been a little different. Some have been much more traditional, with a focus on observing Jewish law, deep spiritual conversation and committing to personal growth. Other seders focus on the children, and the singing, games, laughter and questions are all geared toward helping the next generation find its place within the story of the Jewish people. As a rabbi, I am grateful to learn about so many unique Passover traditions and recipes handed down through the generations from our congregants during our community seder, and it is special to witness their full hearts as they remember meaningful time spent with loved ones during years past. As a new father, I’ll have the opportunity for the first time to pass down all that I love about our festival of freedom with our little one, and I pray that he, and the generation to come, will be the ones who build a world filled with more peace, goodness and light than the world in which we enter the holiday this year.

Cantor Irene Failenbogen

The New Synagogue of Long Island, Brookville  

My most memorable Passover seder took place shortly after my arrival to New York City from Buenos Aires, Argentina. The leader of the seder was the unforgettable Debbie Friedman, the Joan Baez of Jewish music, along with her wonderful all-woman band of musicians. At that moment, 500 women from all over New York came to Manhattan to celebrate freedom in song and storytelling led by the most inspiring and well-known female cantor of the Reform Movement. It was the first time that I was experiencing an only-women seder in my life. In the past in Buenos Aires, I was the first woman cantor in many synagogues, and I felt alone at times. But here in New York, I could feel a deep connection with others and a renewed commitment to my calling without apologies. My heart was palpitating as Debbie was inviting us to get up from our seats and dance as Miriam did after the parting of the Red Sea. We all held hands in an incredible moment of faith, friendship and gratitude. At that moment, I felt the bondage of my past broken and the miraculous freedom of my new life unfolding in front of my eyes.

Rabbi Anchelle Perl

Director, Chabad of Mineola  

Passover is a time when nostalgia pervades as we dig deep into our rich past and uncover memories — both joyful and painful. I remember as a child, my tears of happiness weaving their way down my cheeks, when my dear mother finally sat down at the seder with us. I was so appreciative of all her hard work to ready us all for Passover. Everything was enough. Everything was beautiful. Also reverberating in my mind to this day is the memory of my father sitting royally at the head of the table, sharing his annual seder message with us. “Each and every person should see oneself as though he or she personally was redeemed, leaving the bondage of Egypt,” he would say. “We go back in our collective memories; we access and touch — deep within the recesses of our soul — the original Exodus experience.” My father told us that we should literally see ourselves being lifted out of bondage into the loving embrace of our heavenly parent, redeeming us out of love for each of us. He reminded us that, “Only the Almighty can assuage our longing and wipe away our tears of loss, pain and suffering. Only He can bring the ultimate redemption!”

SBU takes back housing offers … Cannonball train … Stunt pilot Ken Credit: Newsday

Man found guilty in death of cousin ... Air Show presser ... What's Trending ... FeedMe: New East End restaurant

SBU takes back housing offers … Cannonball train … Stunt pilot Ken Credit: Newsday

Man found guilty in death of cousin ... Air Show presser ... What's Trending ... FeedMe: New East End restaurant

Latest Videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME