Friday, April 15, 2011


Our Family Passover Seder Table, 2010

Monday at sundown is the beginning of Passover for 2011. Our family is gathering this Saturday for our Seder because it's difficult to get everyone together on a week night. We do come from many cities all over California for this event.
When I was a child, my grandfather, Sam Katz was the Chairman of the Seder at Temple Beth Am in Los Angeles for many years. We were required as a family to attend the huge second night seder in the basement Mirror Room of Temple Beth Am, Rabbi Pressman and Cantor Kelemar, presiding. I do love getting together with my family, but a huge banquet with long services full of squirming children is not always pleasant. I suppose I was one of those squirming children once, but the kids of my era seemed to have more restraints and rules governing their behavior than the children of today!
My memories are of banquet food (bleah), the reading of the ENTIRE Hagaddah (prayer book for Passover) and singing more songs than was necessary. Maybe the purpose of this gathering was so that we, as a family, would have shared memories of suffering. Today, we speak with fondness of those long ago seders. Every few years my grandmother, Freda would declare that she was going to cook our Passover Seder dinner. That was an event! Grandma used to make her own gefilte fish! It was delicious. Grandpa didn't have as much control over our group as Rabbi Pressman did, so we usually cut the service short so we could get to our meal.

The immediate family in 1943
L-R: Celia, Mae, Jack, George, Roz, Freda, Sam

In the past 20 years, or so my cousins, Marilyn, Carolyn and I have taken on the task of producing our family Passover Seder (photos). We share in the cooking and preparation of the meal. Other family members provide desserts, decorations, wine, etc. Our family has grown considerably. We now have 4 generations present at the Seder. On Saturday, we're expecting 25-30 people, including Elijah!

Cooking Cousins, Marilyn and Carolyn - Passover 2010


At 6:32 PM PDT, Blogger Z said...

I agree with you about the children. Either the children were more restrained back then or parents restrained their children better back then.

You have a beautiful family. I love the ladies hair in the picture. The one at the end of the table.

In my bible, I remember reading once how the Jews would eat bitter root (or maybe it was bitter melon), well it was something bitter that they would eat to remember what the Jews before them had gone through.

It's a wonderful tradition!

At 6:32 PM PDT, Blogger Z said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 8:26 PM PDT, Blogger Glennis said...

Have a lovely holiday, Ellen.

At 10:48 AM PDT, Anonymous Jo Anne said...

Hope you and your family had a good sedar on Sat. Happy Passover to you.


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