While Passover is a few weeks behind us, a recent article in Haaretz caught my attention and I wanted to share it. While I think that the author admits that it is not your typical Passover celebration and might even be “over the top” to use her words, it does offer us a glimpse into who is now sitting around our Seder tables—and our Shabbat dinner tables and other holiday events, as well—when our families are inclusive to all our relatives.
Well, Caryn Aviv’s table might win the prize for being among the most inclusive. And she is sensitive to what a newcomer to the table might experience as a result. Her enthusiasm—and that of her gay co-parents (which she explains in a prior column as the gay couple for whom she carried, delivered, and is now raising a child with)—ended up extending 27 invitations for Seder. So no one really knew how many to expect. (My wife is the same way. She extends invitations to lots of people, never wanting them to be alone for the holidays, and then neglects to keep a count of who said yes.) But that enthusiasm and the diversity of the table is really what Seder is all about: welcoming the strangers among us. Here is what Caryn had to say—and I agree:
What I think this seder demonstrated was the both/and complexity and richness of contemporary Jewish life in America today. Most American Jews are now part of multicultural, hybrid, interfaith extended families. And for those who have had their heads buried in the sand the past twenty years, the reality is this level of family diversity is fast becoming the norm almost everywhere in the United States.