Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

PASSOVER GIVEAWAY: Seder in the Desert

On Day 2 of our Pesach Giveaway series, we speak to Rabbi Jamie Korngold about her book that takes readers on a reenactment of the Israelite’s desert journey during the Exodus story

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 10th, 2014 in Culture » Books » News

Passover is almost upon us!

The sacred holiday begins April 14th, and involves more than just spring cleaning. It’s a time to share with family, friends and loved ones, to rejoice as a Jewish people, to regale at our thousands-year-old history. More importantly, it’s a time to share with our children the stories of our ancestors, to sing, to pray, and to remember and pay respects to our heritage. Though there are several interpretations of the Haggadah, children often relate to what they find interesting, and what’s fun and engaging for them.

That’s why we at ShalomLife are embarking on a Passover giveaway series for parents looking to engage and teach their children about the Story of Passover. For the next five days, we’ll be giving away a children’s book on Passover so that your kids can learn about their Jewish heritage, and in turn, teach their children, who will in turn, teach their children. The circle of life continues.

GIVEAWAY: As part of the Passover Giveaway, ShalomLife and Kar-Ben Publishing are pleased to offer a free copy of Seder in the Desert to ONE lucky winner. To enter, share this story via Facebook and/or Twitter and like both Shalom Life on Facebook. Then send an email to contests@shalomlife.com with the headline Seder in the Desert. Hag Sameach!

Make sure to check back here tomorrow as we continue with our Passover Giveaway series.

Adventure Rabbi is a full weekend retreat that seeks to “[combine] the ancient traditions of the Jewish Seder with the inspiration of the Red Rock Desert.” Rabbi Jamie Korngold, the spiritual leader of the program, has been leading families on this annual trip for years now, bringing together members of the community in reading, learning, and debating on the story of Exodus, but also singing, dancing, and praying together.

Most importantly, it’s a way to bring together the community, turning strangers into friends, while celebrating a holiday of the utmost importance: Pesach.

Korngold’s latest photo-illustsrated book, Seder in the Desert, her 5th children’s book and 7th overall, encompasses this program and all that it offers to those who attend.

“Why is this Seder different from all others? Because this year we are celebrating Passover in the desert,” Korngold begins. She then recounts how participants trek through a picturesque landscape (it’s not Israel, but actually the Moab desert in Utah) carrying a Torah, food, folding chairs, and of course, haggadot. When they arrive at the spot where they hold the Seder, “like Miriam and the Israelite women,” they begin to sing “Dayenu” and dance with tambourines.

I had a chance to speak to Rabbi Korngold yesterday, a very busy time for her as she is preparing for this year’s Exodus story reenactment, taking place this Monday. Technically, Korngold will be there from Saturday, and will lead an optional hike on Sunday.

“The program liberates families to widen how they create their Passover experience,” Korngold tells me. “It shows them that there are many different forms of the Seder they can make in an effort to make Judaism more meaningful for their children. The book is a photo essay of the program, that we at Adventure Rabbi put out. The participants come from 18 states with over 200 people, from Canada, the U.S., and overseas.”

What’s really amazing about Seder in the Desert as a book is that it conveys this monumental experience families have by taking part in such a unique and engaging Seder. It’s not every year you read from the haggadah in the desert while reenacting the Story of Exodus.

“We all meet in the Moab desert for this Seder experience, that includes hiking, and that’s what’s really amazing about it: what people love about Passover is being with their families and friends, and having that sense of community,” Korngold explains. “So with our Seder, there’s people from around the world sharing in this holiday. When you’re in the wilderness you don’t pretend to meet each other, you actually meet each other. After the 3 mile hike to get to the Seder, we all get to know one another, and I like to think that’s how the Israelites in the desert were transitioning from being slaves to becoming a nation. They really learned how to be together.”

A truly heartfelt description.

To learn more about Adventure Rabbi and this amazing program, visit their website here. For many of those who won’t be able to attend this year but would still like to experience this feeling of community and Jewish camaraderie, that’s precisely what is outlined in Seder in the Desert, and what makes it a truly wonderful read.

Make sure to enter the contest by following the guidelines mentioned above. If you’d prefer to play it safe, get your copy of the book via Kar-Ben Publishing or Amazon.

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