Rabbi Elana Zelony of Congregation Beth Torah. (Photo courtesy of JCRC.)

Good luck if you want a ticket to the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Interfaith Seder tonight. It’s sold out, and it has been for weeks.

If you are one of the estimated 500 to attend, expect a moving experience. The seder, which is at 6:30 p.m. at Congregation Shearith Israel, honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and features Rabbi Elana Zelony of Congregation Beth Torah and Bishop Edward Burns of the Catholic Diocese. Check-in starts at 6 p.m.

This is the sixth year for JCRC Interfaith Seder, an event that has grown from 150 attendants to nearly 500. Following the model of a traditional Jewish Passover Seder, the annual JCRC Interfaith Seder draws comparisons between Passover stories and modern-day challenges.

This year, the seder honors King, since 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of his assassination. Speakers include Marvin Ellison, CEO of JCPenney and one of the few African-American CEOS of a Fortune 500 company. The Potters House Choir will also perform.

Marvin Ellison, CEO of JCPenney. (Photo courtesy of JCRC.)

Anita Zusman Eddy, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, says she’s honored to say that it’s a must-attend interfaith event in Dallas. Previous year’s themes include “Uniting Our Community,” “Welcoming the Stranger” and “Confronting Poverty.” She’s been told by past attendees that they keep coming back because “I meet people here that I would not otherwise meet.” She fondly remembers the seder four years ago when audience members spontaneously put their arms around one another and sang “We Shall Overcome.”

Each year, the JCRC “reworks” the Haggadah, the text recited at the Seder that includes a narrative of the Exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt, to reflect the current year’s theme. Eddy is looking forward to the moving poem written by Michael W. Waters, founding pastor of Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The Seder is open to the community for a minimal charge of $20 per person. The event is sold out, but you can get on the waiting list or get a jump on next year’s event in the future by visiting www.jewishdallas.org/seder.


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