Board of Deputies launches #SederSeatForAHostage campaign for Pesach

Seder Seat for a Hostage

In just four weeks’ time, we will be celebrating Pesach, commemorating the Festival of Freedom and remembering our ancestors being rescued from captivity and going up to the land of Israel.

At the Seder table, the youngest among us will ask the traditional Four Questions. But for many of us there will be another question this Pesach, left unanswered.

How can we discuss being redeemed from slavery, when Hamas still holds 130 men, women and children in the most vile captivity?
How can we celebrate our freedom, when our brothers and sisters are not free?

This morning, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, with the support of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, is launching a Pesach initiative called “Seder Seat for a Hostage”, encouraging all those holding a seder this year to set an extra place for one of the more than 100 people who remain in captivity.

People can access the Board website campaign page here, download and print a picture of one of the hostages, which can then be placed at a special seat at the table set for them. We would also encourage people to share pictures of their laid Seder Table with the seat set aside for a chosen hostage, along with the #SederSeatForAHostage hashtag.

We hope that congregations, families and individuals around the country will join this campaign, and that the UK’s Jewish communities and communal organisations will amplify this initiative and encourage as many people as possible to join.

President of the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl, has described the initiative as “Commemorating the Festival of Freedom, Remembering Those in Captivity.”

She said that:

“As in ancient days, we call ‘Let Our People Go’ – Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist – the hostages must all come home.
We pray for their release, and for this terrible conflict to come to an end with Hamas uprooted, so that Israelis and Palestinians can together build a better future. And when we recite the words ‘Next Year in Jerusalem’, we will be thinking of all those who are not with us for the Seder this year, hoping for their safe return.”

Seder Seat For A Hostage | Watercolour Art of Turquoise Blue Wooden Dining Chair with hostage poster of Kfir Bibas (baby) on the seat and hashtag #SederSeatForAHostage © BOD2024

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