On Monday, April 14, nearly 30 WVU Tech students, faculty and staff met with WVU Tech student Dan Eisenberg and his family to observe a Passover Seder in the Vining Library.
A Jewish ritual feast, the Seder signifies the beginning of Passover and retells the story of the Jewish exodus from Egypt. The feast was both a sacred observance for the Eisenberg family and a learning opportunity for students in WVU Tech’s World Religions sociology course.
The evening course is taught by WVU Tech sociology professor, Dr. Janis Rezek, and features weekly guest speakers and subject experts on religions such as Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Bahaism, and Christianity. The class has observed a variety of religious rites over the years, including a Ramadan fast-breaking ceremony and a Native American beading ritual. Monday’s Passover Seder was a first for the group.
“My hope for the class is that they realize the importance of respecting all diversity, including religious diversity,” said Dr. Rezek. “The Passover Seder was a unique opportunity for students to experience a religious ritual and sacred event firsthand. We’re grateful to Daniel and his family for allowing us to share in this wonderful experience.”
As members of a sect within Messianic Judaism, the Eisenberg’s Passover Seder incorporated elements of both Judaism and Christianity, demonstrating the diversity that occurs even within a particular religion. Led by Dan’s father, the Seder featured traditional foods eaten from a Seder plate, readings from a specially prepared Seder text and a meal of lamb, chicken, vegetables and matza.
For Eisenberg, sharing the feast with his fellow students was a positive experience.
“It went very well, and the students and staff that attended were interested and engaged,” he said. “I want to thank the World Religions class, Dr. Rezek, WVU Tech and WVU Tech Dining Services for inviting us to share the Passover Seder. It was a very memorable experience for me and my family.”