Community invited to celebrate Passover Seder on Friday | SteamboatToday.com

Community invited to celebrate Passover Seder on Friday

Preparations are underway for the Passover Seder in Steamboat Springs, set for Friday at the Steamboat Grand. The event will be hosted by Rabbi Divid Mintz, who oversees the Chabad of Vail, and his brother, Rabbi Efraim Mintz, who oversees the Chabad and is also the executive director of the Jewish Learning Institute in New York.

— The eight-day symbolic festival of Passover, celebrated by Jewish communities throughout the world, will also be observed in Steamboat Springs this weekend with two visiting rabbis.

"Passover involves retelling the story of when the Jewish people had their exodus from Egypt and were first held in bondage, then freed," said Rabbi Efraim Mintz, who oversees the Chabad and is also executive director of the Jewish Learning Institute in New York. "Part of the celebration is about the history and storytelling. It's all about making it come alive and relevant to us today."

Bringing the traditions of this festival to the Steamboat community, local Jewish residents have partnered with Chabad to host a community Passover Seder, which will be celebrated beginning at 7:30 p.m. April 22 at the the Steamboat Grand Hotel.

The event is open to all and will include a traditional, kosher four-course gourmet dinner catered by the Aspen Jewish Community Center, kosher wines and 'Shmurah' Matza from Israel. The event will also be led by Rabbi Divid Mintz, who oversees the Chabad of Vail, and his brother, Rabbi Efraim Mintz.

Passover is celebrated on the 15th day of the Jewish month Nisan, which begins this year on Friday and ends on the evening of April 30.

The Seder, Rabbi Efraim Mintz explained, is typically celebrated on the first night and includes readings from the book of Exodus and rituals that incorporate Israeli wine, matzoh, a brittle flatbread, and symbolic foods such the traditional Passover brisket, or kugel.

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"We each have a frame of mind or think we are unable to do something, a bondage," Rabbi Efraim Mintz said. "The key message for the holiday of passover is overcoming our own challenges and being able to realize our dreams. It's about each of us exiting our own bondage or limitations that prevent us from being the whole and successful people we hope to be."

This is the second year Herchel Portman, a Steamboat resident who is part of the local Jewish community, has worked with the two visiting rabbis to bring the Passover Seder here.

"Jewish holidays are symbolic," Portman said. "This connotates the escape from physical and mental bondage, either from our own self or whatever else. There are a lot of different meanings attached to it."

Rabbi Divid Mintz said the inspiration to have the event here started with local residents hosting classes in the summer; from there, it grew into the first Passover Seder at the Steamboat Grand last year.

"We wanted to build off of that (the summer classes and discussions), even though this is a quiet time in town," Rabbi Divid Mintz said. "It's something that is all-inclusive, meant for everybody to attend."

With Rabbi Divid Mintz coming from Vail, his brother coming from New York and the food coming from Aspen JCC, it’s taken a community effort to make the Seder happen again this year.

"That really translates what Passover is all about," Rabbi Efraim Mintz said. "People from different places and backgrounds coming together to make this a beautiful Seder. It's something that is meant for everybody. For anyone who has never been, I think it will be an eye-opening experience, and for anyone who has attended before, it will bring back a lot of memories."

The cost to attend is $50 for adults and $36 for children. Reservations are required and can be made at jewishsteamboat.com or by calling 970-476-7887.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email adwyer@SteamboatToday.com or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

If You Go…

What: Steamboat Springs communal Passover Seder

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22

Where: Steamboat Grand, 2300 Mount Werner Circle

Cost: $50 for adults and $36 for children