"Ma nish-ta-nah ha-lai-lah ha-zeh…."

By Joan Kurtz

If you recognize these words, you know that you must be at a seder, celebrating Passover. I heard these words, as well as read them, at a community seder held in my town of Easthampton, Mass. The director of the local community center and I offered a min-seder to anyone in the community who wanted to learn, participate and sample the foods that are on the seder plate. We used a haggadah I created for my fifth grade class when I taught at a Jewish secular school on Long Island, N.Y., more than 15 years ago.

There were 16 people who attended our mini-seder, including one Jewish family who could not hold their own seder since the mother just had a baby. All deemed it a success, with the charoset being chosen as the best and the maror (horseradish) the least favorite food, though "It did clear my sinuses," stated one of the participants with a smile.

The director said that she would have had more attendees if we had also offered a full meal with the mini-seder. Maybe next year...?