Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation news

Allan Levy

The Sun Lakes Jewish Congregation (SLJC) is an established reform congregation that meets at the Sun Lakes Chapel on the second Friday of the month at 7:30 pm. Services are a great opportunity to meet new people, connect with Judaism and learn. New attendees are invited to be introduced at the service and members of the congregation connect with these attendees. Oneg Shabbats are held immediately after the service at Sun Lakes Country Club. Everyone is invited to attend. The Onegs are a great place to meet members, ask questions and learn more about our congregation.

On Friday evening, February 13, the service was conducted by the SLJC Sisterhood. It was a very special evening which focused on women in science. Members of the SLJC participated in all parts of the service including the torah reading and sermon.

The 20th Anniversary Concert for the Interfaith Music Festival will be held on March 8 at 3:00 p.m. This is an opportunity to support Neighbors Who Care. The cost of the tickets will be $5. The director of this event is Lana Oyer, the director of the SLJC Choir.

Mark your calendars – on Saturday, April 4 (second night of Seder) SLJC will hold their annual Passover Seder at the Sun Lakes Country Club. This is an opportunity to share Passover with your friends and family without having to cook. The cost will be $40 per adult, $12 per child ages four-12 with no charge for children age three and under. Rabbi Irwin Weiner will conduct our Seder and everyone is welcome. This is a wonderful event with food catered by Heidi’s Events & Catering.

Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Exodus, independence and spiritual renewal of the Jews after they were enslaved by Egyptian monarchs for centuries. Passover festivities are meant to evoke empathy for past suffering and encourage observers to strengthen Jewish culture and community. The holiday is also called the Spring Festival because it coincides with the start of the Israeli harvest season, celebrating spring and rebirth.

Passover is observed on the 15th of Nissan on the Jewish lunar calendar, which usually occurs in April on the Gregorian calendar. The holiday stems from the religious story of the 10 plagues, in which God forced the Egyptian Pharaoh to release the enslaved Jews by causing a series of catastrophic events. For the final plague, God took the lives of the firstborn child in every family, including the Pharaoh’s son. However, the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Jews, sparing their children from the deadly plague.

The holiday starts with a dinner ceremony known as a Seder and lasts eight days in Israel and seven days worldwide. Observers abstain from work at the beginning and end of Passover and temporarily remove all leavened bread from their diets, replacing it with an unleavened bread knows as matzah. This important tradition honors the exiled Jews who fled their homes so hastily that they couldn’t allow their bread to rise properly.