Our UNC seder was run by the wonderful Jenny Stein. She came confidently prepared with notes and icebreakers. Jenny led us through the prayers over the Manischewitz, the food, and candles.
Jenny shared her family tradition of boiled eggs in shot glasses filled with salt water, which was a hit at the seder. Mannie read the four questions spectacularly. Sam welcomed Elijah into the home with enthusiasm. Our newcomer, Abby, found the afikomen.
The seder was a great cultural immersion for our non-Jewish friends who were curious about parts of the seder plate. We suggested that they look at the English translation of the Hebrew, so they understood the prayers.
In general, our seder was as much of a discussion as it was a ceremony. People arrived with different backgrounds and Hebrew proficiencies. Therefore, we all participated the best way we could. Friends shared different family traditions and songs. Many people contributed dishes to the meal, and we all left with bloated bellies.
No longer sitting at our parents' seder following as we were told, we were proud to make a seder how we wanted to. We selected our favorite parts of each of our families’ seders and combined them into a masterful and enjoyable seder, in which we all left laughing (and recovering after so much food).
In some ways, we felt like children trying to be adults. For the first time, we had to run our own show, but I think we did a pretty good job. If anything, I think we did an even better job!
Samantha Asofsky is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill from Merrick, New York.