“Events like this are so important because they unite people of different religions, backgrounds and countries,” said Polish Consul General Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka. “Sitting, eating, and talking together brings us all closer together.”
Eighty ambassadors and consuls general were among the overflow crowd attending, including AJC National President Robert Elman and his wife, and AJC leaders from Long Island, New Jersey, New York and Westchester. The model Passover Seder took place at Congregation Bnei Jeshurun and was led by Rabbi J. Rolando Matalon and Cantor Ari Priven.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to discover one of the Jewish landmarks of New York, to spend an evening in good company and above all to learn about the history and the values celebrated during the Seder. The narrative of liberation from oppression has a universal appeal,” said Ambassador François Barras, Consul General of Switzerland.
A similar Diplomatic Seder, hosted by AJC in Washington, D.C. was held on Wednesday, and there will be one in Boston next week. AJC Berlin also organized a Seder for diplomats in the German capital this week.
AJC Executive Director David Harris said the program, initiated 20 years ago, “has proven to be vital in nurturing understanding of Jews and Judaism, while advancing closer ties between American Jews and representatives of countries around the world.”
[Editor’s note: The above story is not intended as an endorsement of any Passover seder (or mock seder) not conducted in accordance with halacha, but rather to share with Jewish Voice readers the novel and effective ways in which organizations such as the AJC engage the international community.]