JP Residents Share Cultures, Pledge Solidarity at Cape Verdean Passover Seder

The 12th Annual Cape Verdean-Jewish Passover Seder was celebrated by 200 Cabo Verdeans, Jews and guests to share their cultures, explore what they have in common, and, this year, to pledge solidarity with one another. Led by Jamaica Plain resident Ted Behr and Adelia Rocha, the event featured speakers from the Jewish and Cabo Verdean communities addressing the themes of this year’s event: Solidarity and Sanctuary. A highlight of the evening's events, which took place at the Hibernian Hall in Roxbury on April 4th, was the presentation of the Community Commitment Award to Project Health CV, an organization based in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that has brought life-saving health care, equipment and training to the people of Cabo Verde.  This year's Seder also featured performances of Cabo Verdean music by Vanuza and Jewish music by the 10-piece Workmen's Circle Klezmer Jam and a dramatic reading of a poem by high school students from the Jeremiah E. Burke High School. While this unusual cultural occurrence has taken place for the past 11 years, this time it was different. In recent months, both groups and many others have been faced with unprecedented threats – restrictions on immigration, increased deportations splitting apart families, demonization of immigrants, heightened racism and a wave of anti-Semitic hate crimes.