With Passover just past us, we reflect on the focus of family during the Passover holiday. It does not always require gathering in person around a table (though that is nice and has been sorely missed). We also invited family into our celebrations through the traditions we embrace, the stories we tell and even the food we eat.

Creative Community Fellows Adriana Katzew and Yoni Battat are deep in their work and have recently started inviting the community into workshops to offer opportunities for participants to explore their own family stories.

This month we asked the Fellows:

A main component of Passover tradition is telling the story of Exodus. Though we don’t know all the details, one can imagine the range of emotions our ancestors likely experienced having left the only home they knew and then traveling to an unknown destination. What visceral emotions have come up for you during this fellowship as you’ve considered your family narratives?

“While the facts of our families’ stories are incredibly important, it’s the element of curiosity and sensory experience that make a story come alive, whether or not they are precisely historical…. I’m in the process of writing songs that lean into the ambiguity of our stories, and embrace the way the senses color in our memory. As I steep in my imagination, I’m beginning to imagine the cool feel of rushing water in the Tigris, the smell of fragrant spices in the market, and the sound of voices and instruments of generations past ringing out in praise and joy. I hope when you hear my music, you’ll be able to experience some of these senses along with me, allowing imagination to perfume the memory of your past as well.”
—Yoni Battat (read his full post here)

“As my family celebrates Passover this year, the story of Exodus has had special resonance, especially as a Community Creative Fellow. I have spent much of my time researching and making art about my maternal family’s own “exodus” from Poland to Mexico…. In this creative journey I have been thinking about food in relation to them…. As Passover reminds us, food serves as symbols connecting the past with the present. Food carries memory. And as my grandparents’ story reminds me, food is the thread our ancestors brought with them, connecting us to the places and traditions they left behind, and the thread they created as they embraced new traditions and cultures.”
—Adriana Katzew (read her full post here)

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