Passover has always held a special place in my life. It is thanks to the prayers and actions of the Jewish community for the freedom of Soviet Jews that I am able to write this post today. At its heart, Passover is a holiday when we as a Jewish people come together to retell our collective story of liberation and freedom…and of course, to share a meal with family and friends.

However, these themes are not unique to the Jewish people, and many of us are still seeking liberation in its multifaceted forms whether the oppression is based on gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status. Below is a sampling of themed local social justice Seders to encourage all of us to explore how our heritage connects us to modern-day issues and how we can all take action and work for change. I am living proof that action makes a difference.

Jewish educator Sara Shalva leads an unconventional and updated approach to the traditional Passover celebration by incorporating contemporary feminist thought. We’ll replace the Maxwell House Haggadah with our original “Hergaddah,” and the retelling of the Exodus tale with personal stories of empowerment and liberation. This participatory and energetic evening will be filled with storytelling, food, wine, yoga and music that might make you want to bust a move. Kosher dinner included.
Tuesday, March 17 at 6:30 pm
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Register here

Jews United for Justice’s Labor Seder
Each spring, JUFJ’s Labor Seder brings together the Jewish, activist, labor and nonprofit communities to celebrate the liberation story of the Exodus and connect it to present-day struggles in our region. This year’s Labor Seder will focus on racial justice. We’ll hear from leaders of color on topics ranging from police brutality to fair housing and decent, dignified work and take action against racism in our country and our region. Michael Twitty, well known local black Jewish chef and historian, will be speaking. Refreshments (vegetarian and kosher certified) will be served including Chef Twitty’s “Southern haroset” with pecans and molasses.
Sunday, March 22 at 5:30 pm
Adas Israel Congregation, 2850 Quebec Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Register here

American Jewish Committee’s 23rd Annual Ambassadors’ Seder
Each year, AJC Washington joins with the diplomatic community to celebrate and rededicate ourselves to the preservation of our freedom. In a time of urgent global challenges, the Ambassadors’ Seder connects the modern quest for religious liberty, free speech, coexistence and other core democratic values with the ancient Jewish Passover rituals.
Wednesday, March 25 at 6 pm
Adas Israel Congregation, Kay Hall, 2850 Quebec Street, NW, Washington DC 20008
Register here

Refugee Seder
There are over 50,000 people who escaped war and persecution in Eritrea, Sudan and elsewhere, wandered through the Sinai by foot and are currently seeking protection in Israel. Let’s hear their stories as we’re asked to imagine that “we ourselves went forth from Egypt.” Join us, and come hungry!
Friday, March 27 at 7 pm
Moishe House DC, 1753 Euclid Street, NW, Washington, DC
Register here

8th Annual Rainbow Seder (GLOE)
Join GLOE, the DCJCC’s Kurlander Program for GLBT Outreach and Engagement, and the Human Rights Campaign for this 8th annual event to tell our stories of liberation. We are thrilled to welcome a national leader, Rabbi Gil Steinlauf, of Congregation Adas Israel, as the spiritual guide of our Seder. We’ll indulge in a delicious kosher meal as we perform the festive rituals with the Jewish LGBT community and our friends and allies. ALL are welcome!
Sunday, March 29 at 3 pm
Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Register here

Black-Jewish Unity Seder
DC’s African-American and Jewish communities come together to host the inaugural Black-Jewish Unity Seder: Young Professionals Celebrating Connected Histories, exploring the connected history, values, interests and commitment to a better city and world. We hope to strengthen a culture of understanding and respect between our communities. For those in their 20s and 30s.
Monday, March 30 at 7 pm 
Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Register here. (SOLD OUT – Waiting List Available) 

Washington Hebrew Congregation’s Freedom Seder
Mark the end of Passover and the celebration of freedom with a special Passover Seder dinner for all WHC members, their family and friends and our interfaith neighbors.
Wednesday, April 15 at 6:15 pm
Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20016
Register here

Top photo: Participants in the 2013 Labor Seder.