If the thought of someone spilling red wine on your white French knot tablecloth with the hand-drawn hemstitching gives you the vapors, take heart. You can still enjoy Passover by eating other people’s brisket.
This year there will be plenty of public seder options all around the Bay Area, a smattering of which are detailed in this article. To see more listings, click here.
Passover begins the night of April 3 and continues for eight days.
Out of Order Seder
Now in its sixth year, the Out of Order Seder has become a San Francisco Passover tradition. Hosted by the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Contemporaries — a group of local professionals, art mavens and philanthropists — the seder will feature a sumptuous kosher-for-Passover meal in the museum’s Yud Gallery.
Diners will be serenaded by Yiddish chanteuse Heather Klein and out-there musician Amy X Neuburg. Tickets run $360, with table sponsorships starting at $2,500. Tickets include admission to the after-party. The event takes place 6:30 p.m. April 11. For information, contact Stacy Rackusin at (415) 655-7829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chabad of S.F. community seder
If the Out of Order Seder is too disorderly for you, go straight-up traditional with the annual community seder sponsored by Chabad of San Francisco, the SoMa Shul and Chabad of Pacific Heights. Prepare for a deep exploration of the haggadah and the not-quite-burnt taste of hand-baked shmurah matzah.
Organizers promise attendees will discover “the seder’s relevance to today’s modern Jew.” Last year’s event sold out, so book early. The seder takes place 7 p.m. April 3 at Impact HUB SF (in the San Francisco Chronicle building), 925 Mission Street, S.F. Tickets run $54 for adults, $36 for children, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. RSVP by Sunday, March 29.
Beyond Four Cups: The Napa Seder
When winemakers throw a seder, you know there will be more than the prescribed four cups of wine. Created by City Winery founder Michael Dorf in New York in 1988, this seder made its Bay Area premiere last year at the JCC of San Francisco, tabbed the Downtown Seder.
Making its Napa debut and switching to the afternoon, this luncheon seder will bring together more than 10 winemakers along with musicians, comedians, political thinkers and, as they say on PBS, people like you. Israeli superstar singer David Broza will entertain as attendees enjoy an “interpretive seder” offering inspiration, fun and cultural connections between wine, music, tradition and peace.
Also on the schedule is a screening of the film “East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem,” which examines how music has built a bridge between Jews and Arabs in the Holy Land.
The event takes place at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29 at City Winery Napa, 1030 Main Street, Napa. Doors open at noon. Tickets are $90. Information at www.citywinery.com/napa.
Humanistic Modern Exodus Seder
An all-seeing, all-knowing omnipotent creator of the universe not your thing? Kol Hadash has got your number. The East Bay–based Humanistic Judaism congregation will hold its annual catered/potluck combo seder at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Albany Community Center, 129 Marin Ave.
Organizers promise a meaningful service, with family exodus stories and Ben Brussel leading the songs. Attendees may bring potluck items, such as beverages, appetizers, haroset and matzah, while a caterer will provide the main menu, including braised beef brisket, matzah ball soup, crispy chicken and vegetable kugel.
Tickets are $15-$40, and there is a registration deadline of Wednesday, April 1. For information, call (510) 982-1455 or email email@example.com.
Multicultural Freedom Seder
The 19th annual installment of this Passover favorite brings together major Jewish machers with local politicians, community leaders and people of all backgrounds. Sponsored by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco and Congregation Emanu-El, this is a multicultural and multifaith affair.
The food isn’t bad either: roasted new potatoes, braised mushrooms and tofu with cashews, and roasted salmon with salsa verde are on the menu, along with Passover songs and storytelling.
The seder will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 at the JCCSF, 3200 California Street, S.F. Tickets are $15-$40. For information, call (415) 292-1233 or visit www.jccsf.org.
Temple Sinai community seder
Oakland seder hunters may want to consider the community seder at Temple Sinai. This seder will emphasize singing and making new friends, and the organizers won’t hesitate to keep the Manischewitz flowing to make both happen.
Oakland’s Z Café (adjacent to the synagogue) caters the event, with dinner served buffet-style, and BYOB to share (if you like). This event sells out every year, so register early. The deadline is listed as Friday, March 27. The seder takes place 5:30 p.m. April 4 at Temple Sinai, 2808 Summit Street. For information, call (510) 451-3263.
Tri-Valley Cultural Jews’ Passover Seder
For people in eastern Alameda County and southern Contra Costa County, Tri-Valley Cultural Jews will hold its annual seder at 5 p.m. April 4 at the Bothwell Arts Center, 2466 8th St., Livermore. As the congregation says in its ad, the event is kid-friendly but not kid-centered.
TVCJ is secular and progressive, and so is the haggadah. Expect lots of singing. After an hour-long seder, attendees will share a potluck dinner. Tickets are $15. To register and sign up for the potluck, call (510) 888-1404.