A different nightA different night

The largest Seder in the world?

Kibbutz Naan does it up for Passover, with 1,300 guests and a show

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Harvest dances at Kibbutz Naan's Seder (photo credit: Courtesy Raaya Ben-Avraham)
Harvest dances at Kibbutz Naan's Seder (photo credit: Courtesy Raaya Ben-Avraham)

Organizers are calling it the largest Seder in the world. The meal is hosted at Kibbutz Naan near Rehovot, where some 1,300 people will gather to fress on chopped liver and stuffed chicken while reading from the Haggadah and performing skits and songs.

“It’s like a show,” said Raaya Ben Avraham, a kibbutz member who puts together the annual event. “We’ve had our own Haggadah for many years that includes our own songs about the kibbutz, about farming. The kids and teens put on dances and shows. It’s a major event for us.”

The tables are set for the seder at Kibbutz Na'an (Courtesy Raaya Ben-Avraham)
The tables are set for the Seder at Kibbutz Naan (Courtesy Raaya Ben-Avraham)

With 1,000 kibbutz members and their family members attending the Seder, the event takes place in the gym, which is the only space large enough to accommodate everyone. It takes about a week to set the place up, said Ben Avraham, and they also make the kitchen kosher for Passover about a week ahead of the holiday.

“We haven’t had hametz for about a week,” said Ben Avraham, referring to the leavened foods that are forbidden on Passover.

While the kibbutz, founded in 1930 by members of the Zionist Noar HaOved youth group, is not a religious one, and has been considerably privatized over the last decade, the Seder is one kibbutz-wide event that Ben-Avraham believes will remain intact for some time.

“It’s tradition,” she said.

Full tables at Kibbutz Naan on Seder night (photo credit: Courtesy Raaya Ben-Avraham)

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