As I write this post, Passover has just started. As you read it, we’re in the May graduation season. There’s an interesting connection. When I was young, I attended Wilshire Blvd Temple, and they had a tradition in those days of giving a seder plate to graduates of their high school program. I received one from them, and it prompted me to do my own seder throughout my college years and to this very day (including developing my own haggadah). Last year, MoTAS brought this tradition to TAS, using a portion of the NCAA Squares Grants to provide seder plates to the graduates of TAS High. We continue that tradition this year, in hopes that they will inspire our TAS young adults to invite their friends and hold seders at college (if they don’t come home). It’s a powerful tradition.
Providing a seder plate is just one way that MoTAS provides fatherly leadership to members of our congregation. We also participate in the FJMC Yellow Candles program, providing yellow Yom HaShoah candles to any congregant. The goal is to encourage remembrance of the Holocaust at home; through remembering, we hope to remind and sensitize people to the antisemitism that remains today.
We encourage all of the fathers out there — and those who serve as father-figures, whatever your gender — to keep the remembrances alive. Tell the stories. Explain the meanings. Show these stories we tell have messages for today, and aren’t just dusty rituals. By doing so, we can do our small part to make this world better.