The aroma of delicious West African brisket, Koshersoul collard greens, and roasted vegetables with cumin and ginger filled the air as the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville’s JCRC Social Justice Seder returned in person with special guest, culinary historian, and author Michael Twitty. Mr. Twitty had just returned from a trip to West Africa before joining us in Nashville, and he was impressed with the menu created by SOVA chef Carlos, inspired by recipes in Mr. Twitty’s book, Koshersoul.
The food, music, conversation, and community spirit were welcome respite in a dark, difficult, and tragic time in Nashville after the murders at the Covenant School earlier in the week. Everyone was ready for an uplifting, soul nourishing, inclusive, and inspirational evening and the event exceeded all expectations.
The majority of the over 350 guests were attending a Social Justice Seder for the first time, and several different local groups were represented including Vanderbilt University, University School of Nashville, Community Foundation, Nashville Public Television, Metro Council, Islamic Center of Nashville, YWCA, Habitat for Humanity, Metro Nashville Schools, and Metro Nashville Police Department. One of the most moving moments was the spontaneous standing ovation given the MNPD representatives in gratitude for the bravery, courage, and dedication of the first responders on the scene at Covenant School.
This year’s seder was dedicated to the memory of Avi Poster. When Avi and his beloved wife, Joie, relocated to Nashville from Chicago, he brought the concept of a Social Justice Seder with him. As he became involved in the Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville, he encouraged our local Jewish Community Relations Committee to organize a similar program here. The Social
Justice Seder was always intended to be a bridge between the Jewish and general communities in greater Nashville. In 2020 the JCRC Seder won the Nashville Scene Nations United Phila Award. In honor and loving memory of Avi, we have created the Avi Poster Social Justice Seder Fund to endow this important community event and to ensure it continues into the future.
In addition to the name recognition of our speaker, the success of the evening was due in large measure to the commitment and dedication of the event chairs and table hosts who invited personal friends, colleagues, and contacts to bring together the diverse group in attendance.
Event Co-Chairs: Rachel and Marcus Whitney. Table Hosts: Harold Benus, Lilyfish Gomberg and LeBron Hill, Marsha Jaffa, Rebecca and Eric Kaduru, Pam and Shaul Kelner, Jacob Kleinrock and Marci Levy, Hayley and Jacob Kupin, Debbi Linn, Bobbi Lipschutz, Bryna Oleshansky, Rae Oleshansky, Sheri Rosenberg and John Jivens, Freya Sachs, Judy Saks, Quin and Josh Segall, Mary Shelton, Jim Shulman, Jason Shuster, Craig Smith, Ricki and Barry Sokol, Patty and Jerry Stelmszak, Anna Stern, Irwin Venick and Christie and Titus Wiemers.
Huge thanks for the generosity of our clergy participants, Cantor Tracy Fishbein, Cantor Josh Goldberg, Rabbi Shana Mackler, Rabbi Michael Shulman, Dov Rosenblatt, and song leaders Julia Motis, Eitan Snyder and Omer Shabat.
Upcoming JCRC events now turn towards Israel at 75 with three upcoming events:
· May 12: Israel at 75 Shabbat 6pm at Congregation Micah
· May 21: Community Sing project from 2-4pm at Gordon JCC
· June 21: AvevA in concert, Ethiopian Israel singer, location TBD
To donate to the Avi Poster Social Justice Seder Fund, visit www.jewishnashville.org/posterfund.
Please login to leave a comment