The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia strongly condemns hate speech in our community and throughout the world. When anti-Semitic hate speech was expressed by Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill, we immediately took action with national and local partners. We have and will continue to condemn comments that reject the state of Israel and the Jewish connection to our homeland.

All your questions for Naomi Adler, Esq., answered! This week’s question:

What is your favorite Passover tradition?

My favorite Passover tradition is the Seder, of course — one my favorite Jewish traditions, period. That makes me just like most American Jews, for whom the Seder is the most beloved of all Jewish customs. It’s true. A 2013 Pew Research Study of Jewish Americans found that in the previous year, while only 23% had attended religious services at least once a month and 53% had fasted for part or all of Yom Kippur, a whopping 70% had attended a Seder. That figure even included 42% of Jews who identified as having “no religion” in their lives. All in all, it makes the Passover Seder by far the most commonly practiced Jewish ritual in America.

I imagine people love it for the same reasons I do: Because it’s about connecting with people you love and appreciate, and about retelling a story that is so core to our identity, a story of slavery and freedom, of oppression and liberation. It’s a struggle that still rages every day, in every corner of our world. Around the Passover table, as we take comfort in our loved ones and in age-old rituals — including the ultimate comfort food, matzoh ball soup — we restore ourselves with reminders of our foundations, remember anew our obligations to others in need, and emerge with a renewed sense of meaning and purpose.

Shabbat Shalom,