On Sunday, April 3rd, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and the Los Gatos Interfaith Clergy Association united communities across multicultural, faith, and institutional relationships for the Interfaith Unity Passover Seder. More than 30 local churches and organizations supported the event as a symbol of renewing their commitments to one another and their continuing journey began with the Los Gatos Stands United Against Hate Walk last November.
Both the Jewish and American notions of freedom are described through documents and stories, but these values are only made real by the lived interactions between individuals. Our ability to enjoy these personal freedoms is dependent on the ability of others in our midst to stand in solidarity and support our rights. At the Interfaith Unity Passover Seder, each participant was called upon to make a personal pledge to be more intentional about the way they treat others and to commit to an action that builds bridges. JCRC Director Diane Fisher said, “People clearly understood the power of small acts of kindness, which when multiplied across the community add up to a social fabric that can withstand challenges, and that can truly grow into a positive community culture.”
Every seder is a structured storytelling dinner party–but whose stories were told at this Unity Seder?
Michael Simbirsky, a Ukrainian American working at Google and volunteering with Nova Ukraine, spoke about the horrible devastation of the war, and his gratitude for support from people all over the world. Ariana Duckett, president of the Gay-Straight Alliance at Los Gatos High School, spoke about what it means to be an ally. Throughout the evening, the co-leaders Cantor Devorah Felder-Levy and Rev. Ricardo Avila modeled the power of relationship and mutual respect.
“Very lovely event and wonderful feeling of stepping out of my “religious and cultural silos” – today was my first experience ever of a Jewish celebration/ Jewish anything. Thank you for helping me expand my worldview some more.” – Folake Phillips, AWỌ Founder & Executive Director.
This unifying event, proudly hosted by Jewish Silicon Valley, is also a powerful reflection of Jewish Silicon Valley and JCRC’s commitment to building community person by person, through listening, respect, and authentic engagement across lines of difference.
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