Steamboat events usher in Passover |

Steamboat events usher in Passover

Har Mishpacha plans Shabbat service and yoga

— Members of the local Jewish community as well as vacationing visitors are spending the coming days spiritually preparing for Passover.

The Steamboat Springs Jewish con­­­­g­regation Har Mishpacha, which means mountain family, hosted a Shabbat celebration Friday night and discussed Passover, a weeklong commemoration of the liberation of ancient Hebrews from slavery. Jews observe Shabbat weekly from sundown Friday until Saturday night.

Rabbi Stephen Booth-Nadav travels to Steamboat monthly from the Front Range to visit with the Steamboat congregation and led Friday night's discussion to prepare people for Passover and ask some basic questions.

"What does it mean to be Jewish?" Booth-Nadav said. "What are we here for? What are we supposed to be doing?"

Passover begins April 18 and is celebrated with a traditional Passover Seder and dinner.

"Jewish families, if they do nothing else, will get together on the first or second night of Passover," Booth-Nadav said. "It's a traditional time for Jews to gather with family, friends or communities."

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Because the weeklong commemoration falls during spring break this year in Steamboat, Har Mishpacha is not organizing a Passover Seder. Instead, the congregation will assist people in finding a place to attend a Seder. Information about the group is at

With Passover recognizing the liberation from slavery, Booth-Nadav said comparable modern-day situations are discussed.

"What slavery, what oppression is happening in the world that I need to do something about?" Booth-Nadav asked.

People also can enslave themselves in various ways, he said, and Passover is a good time to reflect on that.

"Am I enslaved to skiing? Well, that's about to end," Booth-Nadav said.

Today, the day before the ski season ends at Steamboat Ski Area, a 20-minute Shabbat service will be held at 10 a.m. at the Ragnar's sleighs at the top of the gondola.

Later today from 5 to 7 p.m., Har Mishpacha will host "At-one-ment: Attuning Our Bodies and Minds at the End of Shabbat" at the Yoga Center at Steamboat, 701 Yampa St. The event is open to the public and includes a 50-minute yoga session with instructor Nina Darlington that will help ready the body and mind for meditation led by Booth-Nadav. It is free to Har Mishpacha members, and donations are requested from nonmembers. Yoga mats will be provided.

"They can come just for the yoga or just for the meditation or both," Booth-Nadav said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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