Community Seders abound in Tucson, Southern Arizona
If you are looking for a community Passover Seder to attend this year, Tucson’s got you covered. There are first, second, third and seventh night Seders, several chocolate-based festivities and a chance to start the celebrating more than a week before the holiday officially begins.
The 18 events below — how lucky! — include Seders in Green Valley and Sierra Vista.
First up is Congregation Chaverim’s free Chocolate Seder with Rabbi Stephanie Aaron on Sunday, April 6 from 11 a.m.-noon, following a mini-Beit Midrash at 10 a.m. Enjoy treats and four cups of chocolate milk. For more information, call 320-1015.
Temple Emanu-El’s Women of Reform Judaism will present a Women’s Seder on Monday, April 7 at 6 p.m., led by Rabbi Batsheva Appel and cantorial soloist Marjorie Hochberg. Dance with timbrels at this ninth annual event, which presents the Passover story from the women’s perspective, plus a traditional dinner. Adults, $36; children, $10; RSVP at 327-4501.
Chocolate fans can also savor the Tucson Jewish Community Center’s Chocolate Seder on Saturday, April 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The event will include an interactive Seder, prizes and a sing-along with Scott and Julie Zorn. $3 per person with reservation; $5 at the door; children 2 and under, free. RSVP at 299-3000.
Congregation Or Chadash will hold a first night Seder on Monday, April 14 at 6 p.m., led by Rabbi Thomas and Marcia Louchheim and Deborah Witchey, a religious school staff member. The evening will feature a catered dinner and chocolate matzah made by the rabbi. Members: adults, $35; children ages 5-12, $22. Nonmembers: adults, $50; children, $25. The price includes a 3 percent contribution to MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, in keeping with the Passover tradition that all who are hungry may come and eat. RSVP by April 7 to Eileen Ruddell at 512-8500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation will host a first night Seder for UA and Pima Community College students at 6 p.m. on April 14. For more information, call Ryan Woloshin at 624-6561.
Chabad of Tucson will host its Seder on April 14 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Young Israel, led by Rabbis Yossie Shemtov and Yehuda Ceitlin. The cost for a “feast with all the traditional delicacies coupled with songs and insights” is $45 for adults, $25 for children. Register at www.chabadtucson.com/RSVP.
The Landmark Café, 400 W. Fry Blvd in Sierra Vista is the venue for Temple Kol Hamidbar’s first night Seder on April 14 at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:30). Members: adults, $25, children 12 and under, $20; nonmembers: adults, $30; children, $25. RSVP at www.facebook.com/TempleKol. For more information, call 458-8637.
Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging will hold Seders on the first and second nights, starting at 5 p.m. Lori Riegel will lead on April 14 and Mel Cohen will lead on April 15. Guests: adults, $40 per Seder; children ages 4-10, $15; age 3 and under, free. RSVP by April 7 to Colleen Kulpa at 322-3622. After April 7, the cost is $50 per adult and $20 per child.
In Green Valley, Beth Shalom Temple Center will hold its community Seder on April 15 at 6 p.m. at the Grill on the Green Canoa Ranch Resort, 5800 S. Camino del Sol. The cost is $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. RSVP by April 5 with a check payable to Beth Shalom Temple Center mailed to P.O. Box 844, Green Valley, AZ 85622 or call 658-6690 or 399-3474 for more information.
Temple Emanu-El offers two options for the second night Seder on April 15, both starting at 6 p.m. Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon will lead the celebration at the synagogue, while in the Northwest, Rabbi Batsheva Appel and cantorial soloist Marjorie Hochberg will lead the Seder at Desert Springs Retirement Living, 30 W. Lambert Lane. At both events, catered dinners will include a vegetarian option. Members, $42; nonmembers, $52; full-time students and active military, $34; children 12 and under, free with parents or grandparents. RSVP at 327-4501.
Congregation M’Kor Hayim will hold a Seder on April 15, 6-9 p.m., at CRIZMAC Marketplace & Gallery, 1642 N. Alvernon Way, led by Rabbi Helen Cohn. Adults, $20; children 12 and under, $12. RSVP by April 4 with check to Congregation M’kor Hayim, P.O. Box 31806, Tucson, AZ 85751. See flyer at www.mkorhayim.org or call 904-1881.
On April 15, Congregation Chaverim will host a second night “Botanical Passover Seder” at the Tucson Botanical Gardens Pavilion, 2150 N. Alvernon Way, led by Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, using the Promise Haggadah created by Tucsonan Nanci Freedberg. The event, which runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m., does not include dinner, but will include tastes of the symbolic Seder foods, plus catered desserts and afikomen gifts for children under 13. The cost includes admission to the gardens prior to the Seder. Adults, $18; children 12 and under, $10. RSVP by April 7 at www.chaverim.net or call 320-1015.
Congregation Anshei Israel’s second night Seder on April 15 begins at 6:45 p.m., following the 6 p.m. Mincha service. The Seder, led by Rabbi Robert Eisen, will feature family participation and supervised children’s play, along with a catered four-course dinner. Members: adults, $45; children, $30. Nonmembers: adults, $50; children, $40. College and military, $37. RSVP by April 11 at www.caiaz.org or call Barb Neuman at 745-5550, ext. 242.
On the third night of the holiday, Wednesday, April 16 at 6 p.m., the LGBT Jewish Inclusion Project of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona will hold a Queer Seder at Congregation Or Chadash, led by Rabbi Thomas Louchheim using a Haggadah that is welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities and their allies. Participants will share family Passover stories and traditions. The evening includes a catered meal with a vegetarian option. $25. RSVP by March 30 to Susan Silverman at 577-9393, ext. 128, or email@example.com.
The Secular Humanist Jewish Circle will host a Passover Seder lunch with a non-traditional Haggadah on Saturday, April 19, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Atria Campana del Rio, 1550 E. River Road. Bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation for the Community Food Bank. Members, $25; nonmembers, $35. RSVP by April 14 to Becky Schulman at 296-3762 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Sandy at 232-0226 or email@example.com.
Last but not least, on the eighth night of the holiday, Monday, April 21, from 6-8 p.m., Temple Emanu-El and Humane Borders will host a Freedom Seder, led by actor Ed Asner. Honoring the spirit of the ancient story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and the struggles of all peoples who have fought and died for freedom, the Seder will focus on migration issues. It will include dinner. The cost is $28; RSVP at 327-4501.
A zissen Pesach (sweet Passover) to one and all!
For other Passover-related local events, see the Calendar.