At Passover this year, my 87-year-old father will preside over a long table of children, grandchildren and in-laws gathered in a Florida condo. As part of a sprawling family tree of Italians, French-Canadians, Germans, Irish, Jews, Catholics and Episcopalians, we all take turns reading the traditional Jewish blessings and commentaries. Of the 30 or so people around the table, my father will be the only person descended from four Jewish grandparents.
An interfaith Passover is nothing new. Tradition commands that we welcome the stranger to the Seder table and share the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The epic saga of flight from slavery and struggle for religious freedom has inspired gospel Seders shared by Jews and African-American Christians since at least the 1960s. And those of us in interfaith families have always included Christian family members and friends at our Seders with relative ease. This year, intermarried Washington power couple Cokie and Steve Roberts (she’s Catholic, he’s Jewish) published a new Haggadah (the liturgy of prayers and readings used at the Seder table) describing their own interfaith Seder.