Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rabbis recruiting believers for Passover dinner

Rabbis recruiting believers for Passover dinner

Rabbis Betzalel Gopin (left) and Tzvi Freund.
Rabbis Betzalel Gopin (left) and Tzvi Freund. Miranda Glasser

Rabbis recruiting believers for Passover dinner

Next Monday sees two worlds collide: not only does April 14 mark the start of Khmer New Year but it is also the first day of the Jewish festival of Passover. And for the first time the Phnom Penh-based Chabad Jewish Center of Cambodia is organising a community Seder Night dinner in Siem Reap, at Asian Square restaurant.

The Passover Seder is a traditional feast held on the first of the eight days of Passover, commemorating the Jews’ exodus from ancient Egypt. Typically celebrated at home, a service is also held during the meal led by the head of the family. At Monday’s Seder, this role will be taken up by Rabbis Betzalel Gopin and Tzvi Freund, both from New York.

The dinner will consist of soup, salads, a chicken dish, potatoes and vegetables as well as the Seder plate, which contains symbolic foods such as bitter herbs – horseradish, for example – representing the bitterness of slavery, and haroset, made from chopped nuts, apples, cinnamon and wine, to signify the mortar with which Jewish slaves made bricks.

Rabbi Freund is on what he describes as a “Jew hunt” around town, spreading the word among expats or tourists who may be interested in attending.

“The Chabad in Phnom Penh have been here a couple of times, and obviously realised that there’s enough of a Jewish presence here,” he says. “We just arrived but we’re going to go around, call people and ask if they know of any other Jews, and invite them to the Seder.”

Tickets for $25 can be purchased in advance on the Chabad website: http://www.jewishcambodia.com

MOST VIEWED

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials

  • Using tech innovation to tackle Cambodia’s rampant road deaths

    Cutting corners, rampant phone use, speeding and driving through red lights – these are just some of the reasons why driving in Phnom Penh can often feel like a city-wide game of dodgems. The high death toll on the nation’s roads – combined with several high-profile