The Jewish Education Initiative held its largest event of the year, the Freedom Seder, last Sunday in accordance with Passover. In planning for the enormity of the event—which included 50 freshly-printed Haggadahs, HotCakes catering, four funding applications, multiple shopping trips, and countless sticky-notes— it was easy to gloss over the importance of the secular Seder itself in the weeks preceding. But on Sunday, I was reminded that hosting the Freedom Seder speaks to issues that impact our University and the world at large by giving a voice to historically marginalized groups in the form of an open dialogue—rooted in Jewish tradition, but accessible to many in our community.
At the end of the Seder, we asked, “What can we do in our everyday lives to instill the change that we want to see in the world?” Issues, such as sexual assault and racial discrimination, to name a few that our community has faced this past year, demand that we tackle this question. I am proud that JEI was able to provide a platform, inclusive of various religious and racial identities, toward coming up with a cogent solution. As we are reminded during Passover, Jews were once slaves in the land of Egypt, but we are never truly free unless we demand human rights and civil liberties for all that share our space.
-Emma Cohen, Co-Chair of the Jewish Education Initiative
Class of 2015