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Sober Seder Dinner At Temple Israel Ner Tamid


In the late afternoon of Easter Sunday, April 1st, we went to the "Temple Israel Ner Tamid" on Lander Road in Mayfield Heights to attend a special "Sober Seder" dinner.

As we know, Passover is an eight day festival that commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from Slavery that, for 2018, started on March 30th and will end on April 7th.

One of the focal points of Passover are the Seder meals that traditionally take place on the first two nights of the festival, in this case on March 30th and the 31st. Included in the venue are four glasses of wine, the eating of matzah and herbs, and recalling the story of Exodus.

(Note: we got the above information from the following link and we urge our readers to check it out for more specific information on Passover and what Seder meals consist of:

In this case, however, Mr. Peter Freimark, who coordinates actions regarding social concerns for the "Temple Israel Ner Tamid", organized a "Sober Seder" dinner (as he has for four years now) wherein the wine was replaced by grape juice so that those who don't consume alcohol for reasons involving health, chemical dependency, or abstinence won't be left out. Accordingly, this all-inclusive event was made known in Temples and Synagogues throughout Cleveland; we ourselves found out about it on

The ceremonial aspects of the gathering were conducted by Rabbi Matthew Eisenberg (the father of our friend Mr. Teddy Eisenberg who once worked at the City Club) who used "A Passover Haggadah", put forth by the General Conference of American Rabbis, as his text and emphasized that what we were involved with here was a celebration of a people gaining their freedom.

Rabbi Eisenberg made sure that everyone had the opportunity to read a passage and take part in the protocol.

He also interjected some refreshing humor into the proceedings such as when he assured us at one point that we were only ten minutes away from dinner so the kitchen staff needed to get ready.

Other people who worked hard to make this event possible were Ms. Erika Gold who made sure we were all properly fed and Ms. Sheila Horowitz who checked us in at the door and talked with us for a moment about the commonalities between the Seder and the Last Supper of Christ.

We were most definitely touched by this House of Worship's commitment to humanitarianism as evidenced by the Sober Seder dinner and other worthy activities.

For example, each Friday night after the worship service of the congregants come together to make between 150 and 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to personally distribute to the local homeless population.

In the over 10 years that they have been doing this, it is estimated that no fewer than 200,000 sandwiches have been prepared and delivered.



Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC