Riverdale ‘Seder’ marks Yom HaShoah


Riverdale remembered the Holocaust the way Jews commemorate so much: through ritual.

The device created for this by Rabbi Avi Weiss at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale was a Yom HaShoah Seder.

“There is no event in Jewish history that is remembered without ritual,” HIR President Jessica Loeser read from the Seder’s Haggadah. “Only through a formalized ritual, enacted each year on Yom HaShoah, as the Exodus from Egypt is enacted each year on Passover, can we prevent the Holocaust from becoming a footnote in Jewish history.”

After Rabbi Steven Exler lit six yarzeit candles, and a siren sounded to simulate the observance of Yom HaShoah in Israel, the Haggadah was read and sung, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish,  over one-and-a-half hours.

Shoah testimonies were read and prayers were recited.

Before concluding with the singing of Hatikvah, Rabbi Exler said the assembled were “standing here today, still strong and resilient. Together with Eretz Yisrael and Medinat Yisrael, we represent the answer to the lament of Yechezkel 37 [that hope is lost].

“The three generations of us in this room [are] connecting to the eternal hope of our people.”