Interfaith Seder: Why Is This Night Different From All Other Nights?

By Sharon Lewis

For the first time since the COVID shut down, United Jewish Federation of Stamford, New Canaan and Darien (UJF), the Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut and the Stamford Mayor’s Multicultural Council will host an Interfaith Seder on Thursday, April 11 at UConn Stamford at 6:30 pm.

The Interfaith Seder will use a specially designed Haggadah designed around the theme of “Uniting Our Community" and follow the traditional pattern of the Passover Seder but will incorporate themes that will resonate with people of diff erent faiths and backgrounds. The events of the world since October 7 will provide a prism through which to view the reading.

“Given the divisions among people throughout the world and in our own community, the Interfaith Seder offers an alternative to division. It models that we can come together--even in our diff erences--and develop relationships, understanding, and compassion," said Reverend Mark Lingle, Chair of the Interfaith Council.

"The overarching theme of liberation at the heart of the Seder functions to remind us that each individual possesses dignity and is worthy of liberation. Our communities possess a similar reality. When we honor this in ourselves and the other, we promote the liberation inherent in the Seder.”

The Interfaith Seder has a long history in this community. Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El has worked on all the Interfaith Seders in the past. Rabbi Hammerman is retiring later this year, and the Interfaith Seder will be his last community event before his retirement. Although he is excited about the Seder, it will be a bittersweet evening for him and the Jewish community he has served for several decades. 

In addition to Rabbi Hammerman and Reverend Lingle, other clergy members will participate in the evening by reading passages from the Haggadah. The evening is formal in nature so please reserve your spot by registering at seder.

The cost to attend the Interfaith Seder is $18 by April 1 and $25 after April 1. For NextGen, the cost of $10 by April 1 and $15 after April 1. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of University of Connecticut Professor Fred Roden, UConn students can attend at no cost. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

“We hope that many people of all faiths will be able to attend this special event and allow our community to be a beacon of peace and understanding," added Sharon Lewis, Director of UJF’s Jewish Community Relations Council.

For additional information or to get involved, please contact Sharon Lewis,

Sharon Lewis is the Director of UJF's Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).This article appears in the April '24 issue of The New Jewish Voice. To receive The New Jewish Voice delivered free to your home, sign-up today at