By Tammy Vineberg
(Edmonton) – My sister and I keep glancing out the window, anxiously waiting for our favourite visitors to arrive from Gaithersburg, Maryland. As we see the car approach down the one-way street, we screech, “They are here! They are here!”
We run to the front door of our house, swing it open and watch the car to park. My aunt, uncle and two cousins tumble out after a long 12-hour drive and don’t even take the chance to bring their luggage inside. Our Passover Seder can begin.
We gather around a lengthy table with my two uncles, two aunts, four cousins, my great aunt and uncle, and my parents. The smell of brisket waffles through the air, but savouring a bite has to wait as we tell the story of the exodus of Jews out of Egypt. I flip the pages of the Haggadah to see which page tells us we can start supper. My stomach rumbles. My cousins and I quietly place bets on who will spill the first glass of wine and stain the tablecloth.
When it comes time to hide the Afikoman, my uncles and father go wash their hands while the youngest at the table find a place to stash the matzah. Then the bidding war begins when my uncle offers $5 to learn about the secret hiding place. One year, we got my uncle up to $20 per child!
These are my favourite memories from previous Passovers as a child. When I moved from Montreal to Alberta, it was a tough first Pesach away from my family because our family Seder had become so engrained in my life. As years passed, our extended family grew as we all had children and it was difficult to reunite and have a Seder as we did in my childhood. We did attempt to have an online Seder as an extended family during the pandemic. Although it was chaotic, it brought back so many happy reflections of Seders’ past.
Passover is quickly approaching .We’re asking you to share your Passover stories, memories, and photos by Monday, April 11 to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can connect as a Jewish community through storytelling. Over the next few weeks, Federation staff will share their Passover stories in our Shabbat messages so you can get to know us a little better and hopefully, it will encourage you to do the same. Through my years as a journalist and a public relations practitioner, I’ve experienced the power of story.
“Storytelling forges connections among people, and between people and ideas. Stories convey the culture, history, and values that unite people,” writes Vanessa Boris in a Harvard Business article.
Let’s share our stories and strengthen our Edmonton Jewish community.
Tammy Vineberg is Associate Director, Marketing and Communications for Jewish Federation of Edmonton.
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