Poly Jewish Family Affinity Group Hosts Historic Seder

During the Passover holiday, a major Jewish holiday that remembers the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the Jewish Family Affinity Group hosted a traditional Seder on campus for nearly 50 people to recognize the holiday. Seder is a meal that marks the beginning of Passover.

Hosted on Poly’s North Campus, families and faculty gathered to celebrate the holiday with foods, including matzah and haroset used to represent the history of Jewish people. A seder is a communal event where the Haggadah is read by various individuals including the four questions, an interactive portion where children ask questions about the exodus and in turn are curious about answers.

“Everything was a collective effort and improvisatory in the best way,” said Laura Goldschmidt, Poly parent and member of the Jewish Family Affinity group. “I think it was a great and moving marker of progress that Poly is making.”

Last year, a Poly senior hosted a Zoom seder for the Jewish families. Seders are traditionally hosted by the oldest male present, however this seder was hosted by a female student with nods to the symbolism of the pandemic related to the Jewish people’s struggle as well as a feminist focus. For this year’s in-person seder, the same text was used and read by Poly parent Adam Pergament.

“It felt meaningful to be there with my family and other Jewish members of the community because my family has felt invisible at the school, but it also felt historic because I think this is probably the first time this event has ever been held on Poly's campus in over 100 years and that was deeply meaningful," said Sabrina Gschwandtner, Poly parent and member of the Jewish Family Affinity group.