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The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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Photo of the Day, 4/30: Jews4Change hosts Passover celebration

Students+brought+the+Passover+story+to+life+by+crafting+houses+of+Matzah+decorated+with+kosher+candies+to+depict+significant+historical+events.+
Rishith Alimchandani
Students brought the Passover story to life by crafting houses of Matzah decorated with kosher candies to depict significant historical events.

On April 30, Whitman’s Jews4Change club hosted a Passover celebration in room 249 to share traditions, spread Jewish culture and interact with new Jewish students. 

Students brought the Passover story to life by crafting houses of Matzah decorated with kosher candies to depict significant historical events. This approach to learning engaged students in exploring the traditions and symbolism of the Passover holiday. Through their edible creations, students showcased their understanding of key elements of the Passover narrative. 

Passover commemorates the liberation of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt during the 13th century BCE, led by the Jewish prophet Moses. Attendees discussed the history of Passover, focusing on the story of the ten plagues that God inflicted on the people of Egypt to convince the Pharaoh to give the Jews freedom. At the event, students represented the plagues with ten kosher candies. For example, animal cookies represented livestock pestilence, and red icing represented the transformation of water to blood.

Jews4Change treasurer, sophomore Ethan Stearns, emphasized the importance of hosting events like this for the Whitman community. 

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“It’s super important to have a safe place where Jews can gather together at school,” Stearns said.

Typical Passover traditions include bedikat chametz—thorough cleaning of the house, specifically the kitchen to help keep it kosher—, eating Matzah—a crisp, flat-bread eaten during Passover—, having Seder—a ritual feast at the beginning of Passover—and hiding the Afikomen—a piece of Matzah hidden by parents during Seder to be searched for by the children.

Freshman Maddie Saltz exchanged her favorite Passover foods and family traditions with other members at the event.

“At events like this I can really identify and feel safe with other Jews and peers in my community,” Saltz said. “Even if this is as simple as sharing our favorite Passover food, it makes a difference.” 

Co-presidents sophomore Rachel Barold and sophomore Emma Libowitz led icebreakers to spark conversations. They asked attendees what Passover meant to them, their family traditions, favorite foods and more. In the slideshow presented at the event, leadership shared that the goal of Jews4Change is to share the rich culture of Judaism with people of diverse backgrounds and religions.

Attendees touched on how big of a role family plays in Passover. Freshman Ariel Greenberg spoke on the importance of celebrating Passover.

“Passover is one of the most important Jewish holidays,” Greenberg said. “It’s all about freedom and family.”

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    Sreemati MukherjeeMay 3, 2024 at 3:30 pm

    I liked that the reporter Rishith built up a feeling of empathy between the Jewish students and the reader in direct quotes of what Passover meant to each of them and how food and historical anecdotes can be sources of comfort and hope besides pleasure. It was excellently done! I look forward to similar articles on the festivities of other ethnic and cultural groups that the school embraces in its community.

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