Exodus. A Pre-Passover Community Celebration
March 21, 2:00 PM-3:30 PM outdoors in any weather
Bonfire, Community Chametz burning, food donation drive and “Afikomen in the Wild”
9687 West M Avenue in Kalamazoo
Medically approved for COVID-19. We will wear masks and practice social distancing.
2:00 pm – Lighting of the bonfire, Chametz burning, songs and socializing
2:30-ish – Afikomen in the wild. Teams run a 1/4 mile course to find the Afikomen hidden somewhere in the 30 acres of woods and pasture. The winning team gets fame, glory and a never-to-be forgotten Instagram moment.
What’s this Chametz burning?
Chametz is the food in our homes with leavening that are deemed forbidden foods for Passover. Typically, we clean our homes of Chametz before Passover begins.
This is the traditional practice: On the morning before Passover, we burn all the chametz that was found during the search, and anything that was left over from breakfast and not stored with the chametz that will be sold to the non-Jew. After the chametz has been burnt in the fire, we recite the following declaration:
“All leaven or anything leavened which is in my possession, whether I have seen it or not, whether I have observed it or not, whether I have removed it or not, shall be considered nullified and ownerless as the dust of the earth.”
Since our community chametz burning will not occur on the morning before Passover, we won’t be reciting the traditional declaration, but we will be singing songs, learning some of the finer points of Passover and socializing.
What should I bring for Exodus?
Chametz in a paper bag, chairs, blankets, s’mores sticks, hot or cold beverages, food donations. S’mores ingredients will be provided.
Where is Exodus being held?
9687 West M Avenue, about 15 minutes west of TBI and CoM. A map is here.
It’s about a 1/4 mile walk to the bonfire from the parking area. We ask that if you are able to walk the quarter-mile (or less) through the woods that you do so in order to limit the crowding and congestion of vehicles near the bonfire. If you have mobility issues, you’ll be directed to parking near the bonfire so you don’t have to walk.
Is there going to be a lot of Hebrew? What if I don’t know the songs?
If you are a non-Jew or “Immigrant Jew” who is less familiar with Passover ritual and Hebrew, this event will be a relaxed and comfortable opportunity to learn more about Judaism and get to know the Jewish community.
Afikomen in the Wild
For all ages. Teams compete to find the Afikomen hidden somewhere in the back 30.
The competition area will be laid out with different colored guide markers that lead to the general area where the Afikomen is hidden. Each team will be assigned a unique guide color to follow. First team to find the Afikomen wins. All guide markers must be collected and returned as proof that your team followed the course without taking any shortcuts. The course length will be in the neighborhood of 1/4 mile.