The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

61° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students gather to celebrate holiday

    Courtney Smith/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Passover at AEpi
    Courtney Smith/Arizona Daily Wildcat Passover at AEpi

    passover begins

    A tradition thousands of years old was continued by Jewish students yesterday to mark the beginning of Passover.

    More than 200 students feasted on unleavened matzo bread, potatoes and grape juice during the Seder dinner held at the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house.

    The celebration of Passover extends back to the time of Moses, when the Jews left Egypt after being enslaved by the pharaoh.

    The ceremony was presided over by Rabbi Yossi Winner, a new face to the campus Jewish community.

    “”We never thought we’d get 200 students, but the RSVPs have been off the hook,”” Winner said.

    Winner, a Hasidic rabbi, moved to Tucson last year from New York City to establish a Chabad presence on campus.

    Chabad-Lubavitch is one of the largest branches of Hasidic Judaism.

    Winner’s home has become the center of operations for food preparation for Seder dinner.

    “”It’s to provide Jewish students on campus a home away from home,”” Winner said.

    Winner said a core group of 25 students helped him and his wife prepare the food.

    “”We make everything from scratch,”” Winner said. “”We don’t buy anything that’s prepared.””

    More than 200 pounds of potatoes were prepared for last night’s Seder and a smaller one tonight at Winner’s house, said his wife Naomi.

    Deena Davis, a theatre arts senior, was at Winner’s house earlier this week peeling potatoes and helping prepare vegetables.

    “”It’s one of those things where it’s the least I can do,”” Davis said.

    Winner said celebrating Passover brings people together.

    “”You can imagine how many students around the world are peeling potatoes right now,”” Winner said.

    Students at last night’s Seder shared Winner’s idea of unity.

    “”It’s just a time to get together with the Jewish people,”” said Lauren Mallery, an accounting senior.

    Mallery said the dinner was different this year because she was celebrating it with friends rather than family.

    “”It’s definitely different because there’s a younger crowd here,”” she said. “”It’s great to be with people closer to my age.””

    Boris Zakharin, an aerospace and mechanical engineering research professor, remembers celebrating Passover as a child and said it was good to have an opportunity to celebrate it in Tucson, even though his parents live in Israel.

    “”I think this is a very nice opportunity,”” Zakharin said.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search