Freedom stories were the center of attention Monday at the fourth annual Multicultural Freedom Seder.
The goal of the Seder is to bring attention to the injustices and lack of freedom experienced by many of the world’s populations.
The Multicultural Freedom Seder was sponsored by various student organizations. Hillel and Kesher, a reform Jewish group, were the main sponsors. The Seder’s organizers and co-chairs were Emily Katz and Jeffery Brown. Stacey Nolish, a Jewish student who graduated from GW last year, originally created the program three years ago.
Three years ago, an idea was conceived out of the understanding that the celebration of freedom and the ritual act of recollecting the past were not limited to the Jewish people, said Katz and Brown in their opening announcement. From this realization, the Multicultural Freedom Seder was born.
The Seder was a traditional Jewish Seder incorporating freedom stories from many cultures. Student representatives from organizations such as the Arab Student Association and the South Asian Society read stories of liberation and freedom from their respective cultures.
Students who attended the Seder said they felt it was an excellent way to celebrate diversity and freedom. The organizers of the event also added that they felt the Seder was an excellent way to promote cultural awareness.
I think that it is a chance to educate Jews and non-Jews about the Jewish ritual of the Seder, and of course, it is an opportunity for all of us to learn the struggles of freedom that all of our people have shared, Brown said.
Katz said she hoped the freedom Seder helped increase cultural understanding on campus.
I hope that the actual Seder was a learning experience for the non-Jewish students in attendance, but the main educational experience that we hope people realize is that every culture – and even every human being – has struggled at one point for freedom; and that this value and the lack of freedom still existing it demands our time and our attention, Katz said.
Sophomore Sonia Arora, who represented the South Asian Society at the Freedom Seder said she enjoyed the event.
I think it’s a great reminder of how all cultures share in striving for freedom, Arora said. It’s also a reminder that even today there are places in the world where people do not have the same freedom as we do here.