Searching for a First or Second Night Seder?
For a Family Seder?
Outline of the evening
Rabbi Judith Hauptman, founder of Ohel Ayalah, and Cantorial Soloist Josh Gorfinkle, will lead the Manhattan first night seder. It will take place in the Prince George Ballroom, a magnificent event space on East 27th Street. Photos above and to the right. This is an egalitarian, community seder. People come by themselves and meet others at their table or come with friends and (also) meet others at their table.
Sitting around a spread of veggies, dips, and other snacks, we will delve this year, as we have done in the past, into A Different Night, The Family Participation Haggadah. You are welcome to take it home when the seder is over. We will read (sometimes in Hebrew and sometimes in English), sing, discuss, and debate. And also shmooze. After dipping into the haggadah (pun intended!) for about two hours, we will be served dinner buffet style (menu below). And after that, Grace, Miriam’s Cup, Hallel, and a lot of singing. The entire event, from beginning to end, will take about 3 1/2 hours.
Time and Place
The Second Night Seder For 20s and 30s on Saturday April 4 will begin at 6:00 pm with a wine-tasting. The seder itself will begin at 6:30 and end about 10:00 p.m.
Rabbi Moishe Steigmann, who led the Brooklyn High Holiday services this year, will co-lead the seder with Rabbi Judith Hauptman and Cantorial Soloist Josh Gorfinkle.
LOCATION: Prince George Ballroom, 15 E 27th Street (Manhattan, New York City).
Brooklyn Seder for families (and noise-tolerant others!)
This year again, Ohel Ayalah and the Kings Bay Y at Windsor Terrace (www.ywindsorterrace.org) are collaborating on running a Passover seder. It will take place on the first night of the holiday, Friday April 3, at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School in Brooklyn. The seder is reaching out to families with children, but is open to all. What is a Passover seder without kids?!
It will be led by an experienced Jewish educator, Rabbi Moishe Steigmann, who will create a traditional yet contemporary seder, one that will meet the needs of both adults and children. This seder will aim to satisfy those who have been going to seders all their lives and also those for whom the seder is new. Children will be able to spend time at the table with their parents and also take a “break” from the seder in a nearby space, and will be supervised by adult staff. A great deal for parents of (young) children!
Time and Place:
The seder will begin at 6:00 pm. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
It will take place at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School, 342 Smith St, Brooklyn NY 11231, right on the F train, Carroll St stop.
Brooklyn Seder fees:
Adults, $40 p/p
Children 4-12 years old, $10 per child
Children under 4 who sit on a parent’s lap, no charge (and no separate seat at the table).
In order to cover our mounting costs, we are suggesting two alternative prices. The higher price covers the true cost of running these seders–which includes venue rental, the seder meal, the wine, the haggadah, waitstaff, venue insurance, security guards, and so on. The second is a discounted price for those who cannot pay the full price. We are asking you to pick the price that is right for you. If you choose the discounted price and are able to add a small donation, to help fund the seder for others, that would be great.
For First and Second Night Seders in Manhattan:
Full price: $75 per person
Discounted price: $48 per person
We are able to offer the discounted price (for those who need it) because we have many generous donors who help us meet our expenses.
To see a list of our seder donors, click here.
Make a reservation (by paying!)
RESERVATIONS ARE OPEN. Join the e/m list to get further reminders (above right).
PLEASE NOTE: The only way to reserve a seat for yourself is to pay. Click on the link below, answer a few (easy) questions, pay, and you will get a confirmation by e/m. No need to bring it with you. We will have a list of all those who registered. If you don’t receive a confirmation, or if you need assistance, please e-mail Coordinator on the Contact Us page.
First night seder in Manhattan is closed. Read below about coming as a walk-in. Walk-ins usually get seats.
RESERVATIONS ARE CLOSED. We will set 15 seats at the second seder for walk-ins to pay at the door, $50 or $75.
Brooklyn family seder is also closed.
Only 4 Brooklyn walk-in seats: $40 for an adult; $10 for a child.
YOU MUST SHOW A PHOTO I.D. TO BE ADMITTED!
Payment & Reservation FAQ’s
Can I pay by credit card if I don’t have a Paypal account? Yes, Paypal accepts cards even from those without accounts.
Can I pay by check? Yes, but we must receive the check no later than March 30. Please make the check out to Ohel Ayalah and mail to:
Rabbi Judith Hauptman, Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.
We will not accept any checks after Monday March 30, EVEN IF MAILED EARLIER. After that date, your only options are to pay on Paypal or show up as a walk-in (see below). If your check arrives AFTER seder registration closes, and it is likely to close about 5 days before Passover, it will be returned to you. So if you plan to pay by check, you need to mail it as soon as possible.
Can I come to the Manhattan seder as a walk-in? Yes, a number of people are admitted at the door. In Manhattan, we will set an entire table for walk-ins (both first and second nights), which means that ten people will surely be admitted at the door. Also, each year there are people with reservations who decide, at the last minute, not to show up. If we find that there are empty seats about 20 min. into the seder, we will accept additional walk-ins at that time. There will be no waitlist. Full price will be $75 p/p and discounted price will be $50 p/p. We do not take credit cards at the door. We do accept cash or a check (made out to Ohel Ayalah).
Ohel Ayalah is a religious corporation. Payment for the seder is for a “service” and is NOT, therefore, tax deductible.
These quotations are taken from surveymonkey.
• If it weren’t for the Ohel Ayalah seders, I probably wouldn’t go to any. The rest are just too expensive and not as inviting to new people who don’t know anyone there and are attending alone. Thank you so much for this opportunity!
• We feel that it is similar to attending a family seder which we had in our home for many years while our children were growing up. There is a feeling of warmth and homeyness and we thank the organizers for creating an environment that encourages this. We don’t feel judged, only welcomed.
• Appreciated that you had it for New Yorkers without a place to go
• I liked the joyous spirit, the high level of participation and the singing.
• The rabbi’s energy and enthusiasm was inspiring. The Canter’s powerful voice regally initiated the holiday and melodically captivated the participants during the dinner. Though there were many people it felt like a very intimate family seder. It was well organized and the food was fantastic. The seder book was interesting and a nice surprise. The seating arrangement were perfect. I just loved the experience and look forward to next year.
• Had never been to a community seder before. Very lovely. Thanks!!
• I must thank you so much for the wonderful seder we had with you this past first night of Passover. A remarkable thing happened. It was the first time my 10 year old daughter attended a seder of this kind (and me for that matter!) that delved so deeply. I personally came from a very superficial jewish family so we never read for more than 15 minutes.
• What is most impressive – and fun! – for me is the overall ruach that you create in the way you conduct the seder along with Cantor Josh. There’s a great feeling of community in the room . . .
• Keep on doing what you’re doing – you’ve got it right.
• I loved how warm and friendly the evening was. I was really skeptical because I attended alone but there were some really friendly people at my table and the staff was also very friendly.
• I loved that the seder was explanatory and we all got to participate. I love that it was designed so that we would meet as many new people as possible. I love that we got to have a seder for our own age group (20s and 30s). I love the price! I love that we got to keep the haggadahs.
• It’s a great sense of community, very welcoming, fun, and enjoyable. The rabbi is great.
• I liked meeting new people and having discussions at the table and the haggadah. I really like the wine tasting.
• The festive/entertaining elements like noisemakers and the interesting Haggadot really added a lot. The food and the people were great, but the best element was rotating seats – I came to meet new people and that really helped
• Great to sing songs that I haven’t sung since I was a child. The food was surprisingly good too.
• It was truly lovely. I was in from out of town and felt so welcomed.
• I am grateful to be able to attend a seder like this as I do not have a family seder to go to.
More testimonials from past Seders
I just want to thank you again for providing a home for my little family for the first night seder. There are so few non Orthodox public seders for the first night. It is really greatly appreciated. Thanks again for all your hard work! – Julia P.
With the experience of the first Seder, I was equipped to lead the second night in a way that encouraged participation from everyone, particularly the kids. It was great being at a Seder where we weren’t “slaves” to the same old rote words while still maintaining the order and all the required sections. – Robert W.
The rabbi runs a wonderful warm seder and makes everyone feel welcome no matter what their age. – Carl A.
The seder at Ohel Ayalah was one of the most meaningful and entertaining seders that I have ever attended. I really enjoyed the friendly and relaxed atmosphere, singing, and interactive discussion. I would definitely come back next year and recommend to my friends! – SG 31 years old
I loved the discussion around the table—we began by being strangers and ended by being friends. – Not named
Very friendly and inviting. Good food and I enjoyed the prayers and singing. I also like the way the tables were set. It was very easy to talk to people. I loved having instruments @ the table so we could really get into the spirit. – Not named
I liked the happy and community feelings. – Not named
I liked that everyone there was in or around my age group. I liked that they tried to get people to get to know each other. I liked that I had a place to go for the 2nd seder when I otherwise wouldn’t have. Also, the price was great. – Not named
It was fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the interactive discussion. I’ve never really participated in anything like this before. The time flew by and I learned a lot about both Passover as well as the people at my table. It was a perfect combination of learning/religion and socializing. The table rotation was great—I really had the chance to meet a lot of new and interesting people. I also very much enjoyed the musical instruments. Finally, I really appreciated the fact that everything was so efficient and well organized! – Not named
As a person who is in the process of converting to Judaism, I was able to understand, have fun, and meet new people. – Not named
Yes, being new in the city, it was very comforting to be in a familiar setting, even with strangers—it felt like family. – Not named
Frequently Asked Questions
The first night Seder in Manhattan is reaching out to people of all ages. This means that you fit the age parameters(!).
The second night Seder (in Manhattan) is only for people in their 20s and 30s.
The Brooklyn seder is for families with children and noise-tolerant others(!).
The meal will be ample and traditional, but simple rather than gourmet. It will include: gefilte fish, chicken [Brooklyn entree: salmon], green salad, roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables. New this year: karma sabsi, an Iraqi vegan side dish. And matzo balls in vegetarian gravy (not in soup!). Carbonated beverage. A rich (cookie) dessert follows. Matzah unlimited. Wine — the traditional four cups. At the Brooklyn seder there will be a kids’ menu of fish nuggets, potatoes, and cookies.
Because it was such a big hit last year, we will again serve Iraqi haroset in addition to regular (Ashkenazi) haroset.
All food is kosher for Passover. Because of kashrut policies, you may NOT bring any food or drink with you to the seder.
To find other community seders in Manhattan, click here.
Want to help?
If you wish to make a donation, you may do so on the seder reservation form. Alternatively, fill in the amount you’d like to donate and click the button below.
More Photos from past seders