JERUSALEM (Mar. 27)
The seder will become an integral part of the aliyah experience for thousands of new immigrants in Israel this Passover and for others waiting at transit centers in Eastern Europe.
The Jewish Agency will hold 30 community seders all over the country for about 6,000 recent arrivals when Passover begins Friday night. Other olim will attend seders at military bases.
President Chaim Herzog on Wednesday urged Israelis to open their homes to immigrants for the seder. So far, the general public’s hospitality has fallen short of expectations, according to Housing Minister Ariel Sharon, who heads the Cabinet’s committee on absorption.
Herzog will personally host a Soviet immigrant family at his seder in the presidential residence here. His guests will be 42-year-old Boris Meuermann and his wife, Larissa, 41, both doctors; and their sons, Yevgeni, 19, a pre-college student in Jerusalem, and Alexander, 8, a second-grader at the Mevasseret Zion school.
The family has been living at the Mevasseret Zion absorption center since arriving in Israel last August.
The majority of new olim are from the Soviet Union. But the Jewish Agency has published haggadahs in eight languages.
About 2,000 of them, in Hebrew and Amharic, the language spoken by Ethiopian Jews, will be sent to Addis Ababa, to be distributed among the estimated 17,000 Jews waiting there for flights to Israel.
The Jewish Agency also plans communal seders for Israel-bound olim at transit centers in Warsaw, Budapest and Bucharest.