As always, things are busy here on campus: students are finishing up end-of-year programming, participating in JFAM and Birthright Israel orientation, and getting ready to start studying for final exams. Amidst all that, students across campus still made it a priority to come together and celebrate Passover. Itâs always a treat to celebrate the holiday here at JLD; on both the first and second night, we broke matzah with approximately 60 students who joined us at our free communal Seders here at the Freeman Center. Open to all, these Seders offer students a traditional Passover experience that they can enjoy with the larger Duke community.
For those students looking for a more personal experience, we continue to offer them the opportunity to host their own Passover Seder, which allows them to embrace the holiday in their own unique way. Thanks to the Freeman Family Program Fund, weâre able to provide all the necessary Seder trappings. From Haggadot to Seder plates and food, students are given ample supplies and training so they can successfully host their peers for a Seder that is all their own.
Since the programâs inception, hundreds of students have gathered for Seders hosted by fraternities and sororities, residence halls, special interest groups, and athletic teams, as well as individual students. This year, 19 individual Seders were hosted across campus. Often featuring relevant themes, student-hosted Seders bring diverse groups together to learn about and to celebrate the holiday. For our hosts, bringing the Passover tradition to their campus families not only gives them the chance to practice their leadership skills and take ownership of the holiday, but also allows them to educate some of their non-Jewish friends about Passover. âIt is very special to be able to bring this cultural and religious experience to [our home on campus] and share in it togetherâ noted one student, adding â[we are] already looking forward to next yearâs Seder!â.
Whether theyâre joining us here at Freeman, attending a student-hosted Seder, or serving as hosts themselves, weâre proud to support our students in coming together to learn, remember, and celebrate in a meaningful way â before itâs time to hit the books and get back to studying for finals!