2019 Liberation Seder held in Friends House, Toronto

When: Friday, April 26 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location: Friends House, 60 Lowther Avenue, Toronto
Price: $25 (more if you can, less if you can't).

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Please note: Grape juice (fruit of the vine) will be included for the ritual part of the Seder. Friends House is an alcohol free facility.

Three wonderful Liberation Seders for 2019 Passover dedicated to a free Palestine and the liberation of all peoples – one in Hamilton; one in London and one in Toronto. 

All three Seders will have the reading of the Haggadah followed by a vegetarian Middle Eastern dinner.

We suggest you have a late lunch or a pre-seder snack as the main course will not begin until about 8:30.

We are also delighted to offer childcare once again at this year Seder. Please contact us in advance if you plan on bring a child that requires this service.

About this Year's Seder

This year's Seders honour and pay tribute to the Great March of Return. The lives lost have been beyond belief; the brutality of the occupation inhuman and the silence of the world a disgrace. We are humbled by those who give their lives so that they can be free.

There can be no freedom for anyone until Palestine is free.

Our Guest Speaker

Photo: Arah Abu-Sharar

Sarah Abu-Sharar

Sarah, has been a Palestinian activist for the last twenty years. She has done extensive research on Palestinian children and war related trauma and has worked with these children, using the Expressive Arts. Sarah is a professional storyteller. She comes from a long line of storytellers on her paternal side. She tells stories to both adults and children. Sarah has told, both nationally and internationally, at various cultural centres, museums, art galleries, festivals, libraries, parks and homes. Because Sarah grew up in several countries, she tells stories from all over the world with the focus on Palestinian and Croatian stories, where her roots lie. Her favorite stories are ones that promote social change. Sarah has also used stories in a therapeutic way, with children in Palestinian refugee camps as well as refugee children in Toronto, as part of their therapy. She teaches stories at the Parent Child Mother Goose Program. Sarah tells stories so that she may go deep inside of the tales and find herself in far away magical places, that she remembers, from long, long ago.

The Rabbi

We are pleased to announce that the Jewish Liberation Theology Institute's very own Rabbi Lucia Pizarro and Kohenet in training SandraLaya Ruch will co-lead this year's Seder in Toronto.

Photo: Rabbi Lucia Pizarro

About Rabbi Lucia Pizarro

Lucia was born in Mexico City, where she became qualified to practice law. She completed an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Essex in the UK. She followed her academic passion for Jewish thought with four years working for social justice in Palestine. She recently became a mother and a Rabbi.

Photo: Kohenet in training SandraLaya

About SandraLaya

SandraLaya is a mother and grandmother, a choir member, after school teacher and lay leader in her Temple community. Today she is working toward her ordination as a Kohenet (Hebrew Priestess). 

Sandra lives in Toronto area and works as a Holistic Health Care practitioner, human rights activist, and Teacher/Facilitator. She has traveled extensively for both work and pleasure. She brings a sincere openness to people and their personal beliefs and values.

Definitions of "Passover" and "Liberation Seder"

We offer the following definitions of "Passover" and "liberation seder": At Passover ("Pesach" in Hebrew), Jewish families celebrate with a ritual family dinner at which the story of the liberation of the ancient Hebrews from oppression in the land of Egypt ("Mitzrayim"), is recited. Seder means "order"—the order of the meal and ritual of Pesach that Jews all over the world have participated in for centuries. It is customary among Jews to invite guests, both Jewish and non-Jewish, to join their Passover celebration.

Our Liberation Seder draws on the legacy of Rabbi Akiva who used the Pesach Seder to plan a revolutionary struggle against the Romans, and of the many Jews in every generation who have used the Seder for political purposes, including the Partisans of the Warsaw Ghetto who began their revolt on the first night of Pesach, not only because the tactical need of the moment, but also because their understanding of the meaning of the Passover story.

As Jews committed to current liberation struggles, we enact this ritual to honor our history of resilience and participation in diverse movements for human emancipation across time. The ritual of the Seder gives us an opportunity to contend not only with legacies of oppression but also with current suffering that we survive, that we perpetrate and in which we are complicit.

Our Seder is dedicated to a free Palestine and the liberation of all peoples.

Underwriters, Endorsers, Sponsors, Partners and Community Friends:

Canadian Palestinian Social Association in London; Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Hamilton; Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) - Canada ; Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) - Hamilton; Independent Jewish Voices (IJV); McMaster; Palestinian Association of Hamilton; People for Peace, London; St Aidan's Anglican Church; Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) - McMaster; Stop the JNF – Canada; The Nook Cafe; Women in Solidarity with Palestine