A Passover seder in Iowa

When Good Friday and the first night of Passover coincided several years ago, the Rosenblum family and a minister friend of theirs from Iowa decided to celebrate together.

The New York Rosenblums decamped to Emmetsburg, population 3,904 at the last census, where they were to prepare a traditional Jewish seder for their friend’s congregation. And then, as they say in the movies, hilarity ensued.

The local newspaper heralded the Rosenblums’ arrival with a banner headline — one whose unbridled exuberance might today inspire a lawsuit. And while no one had ever heard of “matzah,” a certain segment of the community was intimately acquainted with Manischewitz, the super-sweet ceremonial wine.

It was an experience that Harry Rosenblum, then age 11, has never forgotten. Not because it was funny – though it was — but because of the human connection two cultures forged that night over food.

–Text by Michele Kayal

–AFR video by Carol Hallowell

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