Congregation Shir Shalom to host annual Passover seder April 20

Continuing a tradition of opening its doors on Passover not only to welcome the prophet Elijah but to welcome all those who wish to partake of a communal seder, Congregation Shir Shalom of Westchester and Fairfield Counties will host its annual friends and family for a second night seder on Saturday, April 20, at 5:30 p.m.

Passover is the Jewish holiday that commemorates the exodus from Egypt of the Israelites, with the youngest child at the table posing the ageless question — “Why is this night different from all other nights?” — to which there are four answers that sum up the holiday’s historical significance.

“Passover tells the history of our people and is especially relevant today,” said Congregation Shir Shalom Rabbi David Reiner. “We are reminded in the Seder to welcome the stranger, for we were strangers in Egypt, and today we see strangers in our world who we want to welcome and support.”

Led by Rabbi Reiner and Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, Congregation Shir Shalom’s ritual Passover ceremony and feast includes food, wine, juice, soda, and afikomen goody bags for young ones. (Afikomen is a piece of matzah that’s hidden, for children to find, and be rewarded with a small gift.) Celebrants also can bring their own Kosher for Passover wine.

Those who observe Passover for its eight days eat matzoh and other special foods in place of bread to commemorate the unleavened grain eaten in the desert during the exodus. Part of the ceremony calls for opening the door to welcome the prophet Elijah, for whom a separate cup of wine is placed on the table. (At some seders, Elijah’s wine miraculously disappears, to the delight of children.)

Congregation Shir Shalom’s Second Night Seder is $45 for adults, $15 for children 12 and younger. The synagogue is at 46 Peaceable Street, Ridgefield, Conn. 06877