This Passover saw ancient and modern history unite, as ARDC staff, volunteers, supporters, partners, and members from the African asylum seeker community in Israel sat down to share a Seder meal on April 9, 2017, in Tel Aviv. The group shared food, tradition, conversation, and laughter in celebration of the holiday, acknowledging and commemorating a shared story.
While the Exodus is central to Jewish history, and to modern Jewish culture, a similar story is becoming increasingly central to the narrative of African refugee and asylum seekers in Israel, and around the world. ARDC Board member Konneh Vayabatee touched on this as he spoke of the passage through Sinai experienced by both groups. "The journey of the asylum seeker is a mirror image to that of the Jewish people centuries ago. Their experience in Egypt, their passage through slavery and persecution, and their journey to their homeland reflects the experience of many African refugees and asylum seekers around the world. The asylum seeker community looks to Israel as the champion of freedom. Israel should not look at asylum seekers as infiltrators, but brothers in experience; a reflection of their own suffering."
Though the Seder reminds of hardship and oppression, it is also a celebration of great triumph. The mood at the event was light. It was a night filled with joy and hope, and a shared vision of a better future.
Photo credit: Rubens Ben ( https://rubensben.com )