Imagine this: It’s Passover 2019. You’re sitting at a table with new friends and old. Perhaps you’re new to Judaism or you couldn’t travel home this year. Maybe your family doesn’t gather for Passover, maybe you don’t know a lot of other people who celebrate Passover or maybe you wanted to try something new. In front of you is a delicious meal. Surrounding you are interesting people engaged in intriguing conversation. The Haggadah was designed by your host and so was the seder plate. Why is this night different from all other nights, you wonder? Because this year redemption looks like sitting around a table with access to food and community and ritual that you’ve created yourself.

Every year around Passover, The Riverway Project receives endless inquiries about Passover seder options for young adults in Boston. As someone who doesn’t have family here and was once new to Boston, I know what it’s like, even as a rabbi, to wonder where and with whom I will spend Passover. I long for the very basic but amazing way my dad makes charoset and how he’s adapted his recipe as we’ve grown to accommodate all of our food allergies and preferences (when you subtract nuts and apples, it’s basically an extra glass of Manischewitz!). Or how he ruins a blender every year making knock-your-socks-off-strong horseradish from roots grown in our backyard. Each year, I hold this personal struggle of “Do I shlep home?” while wrestling with what we can do for our community.

So we thought, let’s host our own seder here at Temple Israel for the Riverway community. But then we reminded ourselves that Passover is meant to be spent around a table in a home, asking deep questions, sharing stories, learning about yourself and pushing the boundaries of what it means to be free. So, we decided that our responsibility to the community was this: We’re not gonna do it for you, but we’re gonna help you do it for yourself.

And so we present Seder Squad 2019! With support from a CJP Young Adult Innovation Grant, we will be training, coaching, teaching and funding home-hosted Passover seders around town. We invite creative seders, traditional seders, “Doctor Who” seders, glitter seders…you name it. We want you to be with your friends, and we want you to open your doors to folks you don’t know who need community. We want to reach as many people as possible, so if you don’t have space to host, we’ll do our best to find it for you.

So, what does it mean to be on the Squad? You’ll be part of a squad of people who learn and prep together and get to know each other in the process (which we think is the best part!). We know that the power of Judaism and Passover can offer us deep connection, conversation and community. 

APPLY NOW to join us and let others join you! Applications close Wednesday, March 6. Selected Squad members will be notified by Sunday, March 11.


You get to:

  • Lead and host your own seder
  • Access resources and coaching for leading, hosting and cooking
  • Receive funding and support from The Riverway Project and OneTable
  • Make your own Haggadah and seder plate
  • Have fun learning and meeting awesome people!

Our ask of you: To receive full support and funding, attendance at the Intro Training Session and at least three of the four other events are required.

Can’t do the Squad but want to learn with us? These classes and experiences are open to the community too! Check out to register for individual sessions.

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