Hillel hosts chocolate Seder

By Marc Kovarsky

Monday marks the first night of Passover, but Hillel, the foundation for Jewish life at the University, hosted a unique event this past Thursday to get students ready for the Jewish holiday. The chocolate Seder, which was Hillel’s “sweet way to prepare for Passover” was a night filled with tons of chocolate.

The four traditional glasses of wine one typically has at a Seder were replaced by chocolate milk. Also, instead of dipping parsley in salt water, which represents spring and renewal, participants dipped strawberries into chocolate syrup.

“I am definitely a fan of chocolate, and any event revolving around that should be fun,” said Alan Cherney, freshman in LAS.

A Seder, meaning ‘order’ in Hebrew, is essentially a long dinner, which includes the reading of the Haggadah, a book containing the story and significance of Passover.

Jason Levine, Jewish campus service corps fellow of Hillel, brought the idea of a chocolate Seder to Hillel for the first time ever.

“I heard of other religious schools and other campuses doing this chocolate Seder, and just thought it was a fun thing to do,” Levine said.

To prepare for the Seder, he created a new Haggadah. While the Haggadah was not edible, participants found it amusing to read about the origins of the cocoa bean rather than the traditional story of Passover.

Brittany Abramowicz, a sophomore in AHS, helped with the Seder by preparing all of the foods eaten at the meal.

“This is a great way to get everyone excited for (Passover),” she said. “I enjoy celebrating it in a unique and creative way.”

While many people would like every Seder to consist solely of chocolate, this event is merely a way to eat many delicious foods before giving them up for eight days, as many Jews do for the holiday.

“Most of the food at the chocolate Seder isn’t kosher for Passover, so this is just a fun way to get ready and enjoy it before giving it up,” Levine said.

When comparing the chocolate Seder to a traditional Seder, Cherney said, “A real Seder is a lot slower, less English (is spoken) and unfortunately no chocolate is present.”