Inspiring Passover Stories
As we invite you to celebrate Shabbat and Passover with OneTable, we have the opportunity and freedom to tell our story and re-create order, finding ways to bring hope to our tables through personal stories. Andrew Fromer, Assistant Artistic Director at The Braid, shares ideas on how to bring inspiring stories to your Shabbat x Passover tables.
It’s another time of the Jewish calendar where storytelling takes center stage for Passover. Supermarkets have stocked up on matzah boxes and gefilte fish. We are (almost) ready to gather around the Seder table, recite the Haggadah, and retell the Passover story.
As our world spins forward, we look through the lens of a story to see what it can tell us about where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. The characters, their flaws, their triumphs, their downfalls. It is all about relatability.
How do I relate to these characters and what can it tell me about my relationship with my friends, my family, the strangers and the universe around me?
One year you might feel like Moses, leading people through the desert with nothing but faith as your guide. The next year you might feel like Joseph in the pit, abandoned by those who you thought were loved ones. I bet you just thought of two moments in your life that closely match those two examples. You might have just chuckled or perhaps you are gobsmacked by how simple that was.
That’s what stories do! They immediately bring up memories and tap into our emotions faster than a 5G download. It’s a unique experience for everyone, but we’re all looking for the same thing: to relate. Finding relationships, building connections, it’s what makes us feel whole, like we’re a part of something. Storytelling helps us to find purpose, meaning, and reason and it can even make nonsense make a little sense.
As we gather around Shabbat and Seder tables, or perhaps sitting on the floor and reclining on pillows, as you share your personal stories or the Passover story, try to highlight and share with each other the relationship between the story and your own personal life. Count the number of ways you can relate.
At The Braid, each of our shows is a collection of original stories anchored by a theme. Each time we devise a new show, we never really know which of our stories will hit home for our audiences. Without fail, every single time, we hear from several people in the audience about how they saw themselves on our stage. The struggles of the character were the struggles of the audience member. Here is an example for you. It’s a story that came to us through our new digital storytelling competition, StoryNosh. This piece, “Emends,” written by Erica W. Jamieson and performed by Jasmine Curry, is the third episode of our first theme, StoryNosh: Courage. The story, which takes place partially during Passover, has resonated with so many because of the relatability we find in digging deep to discover the courage to offer forgiveness when it might seem impossible to do so.
Have you ever felt like external forces were pushing you to forgive someone for something that you couldn’t even fathom getting over?
It can be quite a revelation when you find out someone else had an experience like yours. It’s a wake-up call that you are not alone. And it might be just the thing to add a wonderful new dimension to your Seder x Shabbat tableside storytelling.
What are the stories you want to tell this Passover? If you’re feeling inspired to create your own Seder, OneTable is here to help you make it happen by supporting and Nourishing Seders on April 15 + 16! Post your Seder by April 12.
About the Author: Andrew Fromer attended Windward School in Mar Vista where his career as an actor began in school plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew returned to LA for acting and producing. His TV credits include Never Have I Ever (Netflix) and Anger Management (FX); feature film credits include Highway to Havasu (Billy/Producer) and The Sweet Life (Mike/Assistant to Production). Theater credits include Pledge (Sherman u/s), Bad Jews (Jonah), and The Braid’s Jews in America. Andrew also runs youth engagement at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas. He is excited to be coordinating this year’s iteration of NEXT, The Braid’s Emerging Artist Program, and hopes you will enjoy his work as Editor on The Braid’s new digital storytelling competition, StoryNosh!
Thank you for sharing! Shabbat Shalom to all!
Thank you for writing this wondderful blog, Andrew!