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Matthew Lazar
Photo by Avrum Charach

Photo by Avrum Charach

Photo by Avrum Charach

Photo by Avrum Charach



Chocolate Seder 2011 at Etz Chayim Synagogue

By Rhonda J. Prepes, April 3, 2011

Everyone loves chocolate. The Etz Chayim Synagogue took advantage of this fact on Sunday April 3, 2011 by hosting a Chocolate Seder. Over sixty-five children, ages 2 to 13, participated in a traditional Passover Seder hosted by Matthew and Nola Lazar.

Matthew led the Seder by engaging the children in fun, interactive learning and song. He is a fine host and no doubt an excellent father and physician, but his singing skills leave a little bit to be desired. I am assured that next year there will be musical accompaniment by the talented Lina Streltsov, Program director at Etz Chayim, for the Passover favorites like Dyeinu, Echad Mee Yodeya and Chad Gadya.

The fourteen steps of the Seder were infused with chocolate. Who knew you could have chocolate matzah, chocolate charoset, chocolate shank bones, chocolate eggs and chocolate milk instead of wine?

By midpoint the children were hyped up on enough sugar and caffeine to walk barefoot through the dessert for 40 years. The 15 volunteers and numerous parents and grandparents in attendance were helpless to stop the inevitable tooth decay. So we all just crunched into another piece of chocolate matzah ourselves and waited for those endorphins to kick in.

My favourite part of the Seder was the listing of the Ten Plagues, each one uniquely demonstrated for the children. Magically water turned into blood, children turned into wild beasts, hail fell down on the crowd and frogs and locusts appeared. I don’t want to give away the whole Seder, but I will say that pestilence and the killing of the first born were interesting.

While the Seder concluded with L’shana Haba’ah b’Yerushalyim – Next year in Jerusalem - to every chocoholic out there, I’ll meet you next year at Etz Chayim for the Chocolate Seder 2012.


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