Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley: April 15-21

By Rabbi Alicia Magal

Shalom and greetings from the Rabbi, Board of Directors, and congregation of the Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley.

All the services, classes, and programs are listed on the synagogue website.

Come join us either in person or online. See for instructions to register for in-person services.

On Friday, April 15, there will not be a regular Friday evening service as it is the Eve of Passover. Instead, Rabbi Magal will lead a Seder on Zoom from her home, beginning at 5:30 pm for about one hour. Then everyone watching will turn off their computers or ipads and have their Seder meal in their homes or together with family and friends in small groups. This is not yet the time to gather in large groups for a community Seder. The Seder plate contains traditional symbolic foods: horseradish for the bitterness of slavery, parsley for spring, dipped in salt water for tears, charoset (chopped apples with nuts and wine in one version; chopped dates with nuts and wine in a Middle Eastern version) standing for the mortar and bricks the Israelite slaves used to build cities for Pharaoh, a lamb bone (or beet for vegetarians) for the lamb sacrificed in the Exodus story on the eve of departure from Egypt, and also symbolizing the strong arm of God that guided and protected the Israelites on their journey; a roasted egg for the festival sacrifice, etc. Some people have begun to add contemporary symbols like an orange with its segments standing for women and marginalized segments of the community, or they even create an additional Seder plate with personal symbols of freedom. The various stages of the Exodus from preparation to crossing the Sea of Reeds are retold and actually relived to keep vibrant and relevant the memory of our people's flight from oppression and miraculous march through the sea on dry land toward the Promised Land. It is an archetypal journey that has inspired many oppressed people aspiring to be free.

Wednesday morning minyan begins at 8:30 a.m. on April 20 on zoom. Join the group to offer healing prayers, and to support those saying the mourner's prayer, Kaddish, for a loved one who has passed away. Every person counts and is needed!

At 4:00 pm Rosalie Malter will lead a class on Jewish meditation on Zoom. Each session focuses on a different tool or aspect of Jewish meditation practices.

On Thursday, April 21, at 4:00 pm, Torah study, led by Rabbi Magal, will be held on Zoom. The Song of Songs is a poetic book of the Bible read during Passover as it describes the yearning for God as the Beloved, although it has also been understood as the yearning for closeness between lovers. Many phrases such as Kisses sweeter than wine, come from Shir ha-Shirim, the Song of Songs.

At 7:00 pm the Women's Havurah will hold a virtual creative "seder" on Zoom with discussion on contemporary aspects of the Seder symbols.

The Social Action Committee is continuing to collect food for the local Sedona food pantry, and summer supplies for the homeless to be donated to Cottonwood Old Town Mission. Please drop of cans or boxes of non-perishable foods, or items like sunscreen, hats, and other hot weather supplies in the bin outside the lower level parking lot entrance to the synagogue.

The Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley, located at 100 Meadow Lark Drive off Route 179 in Sedona, is a welcoming, egalitarian, inclusive congregation dedicated to building a link from the past to the future by providing religious, educational, social and cultural experiences. Messages to the office telephone at 928 204-1286 will be answered during the week. Updated information is available on the synagogue website -

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