March 2020 -- Adar-Nisan 5780,  Volume 26, Issue 3

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Rabbi Shira Milgrom Suggests Congregation Kol Ami’s Readings

for Pesach

By Stephen E. Lipken


Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains Rabbi Shira Milgrom and their members are eagerly anticipating the coming of Passover, April 8-9, 2020.


“Passover is mostly a home holiday, one of the holidays that the focus, the center of the holiday is not the synagogue but the home,” Rabbi Milgrom offered.  “We do everything we can to empower families or individuals to celebrate in their homes with their family and friends.


“We create resources, stories, readings, questions and music that we put on line to encourage people to use at their Seders (”


Milgrom especially recommended a selected reading, “Learn About the Upcoming Jewish Holiday, Passover,” “The Reminder” from Who Knows Ten? by Molly Cone, about the selection of a new king when the old monarch died, in which a royal bird would land on a person’s head, indicating the new ruler.


A slave serving as court jester wore a cap of chicken feathers, a belt of lambs’ hooves and beat a little drum.   One evening the slave noticed a number of small seeds underfoot.  Because he did not know what to do with them, he put them in the crown of his hat. A large bird landed on his head and pecked at the seeds.  After he was selected king, he ordered a small hut to be built containing his old cap, belt and drum, reminding him that he once a slave, apparently an allegory for Jews not to forget their bondage in Egypt.

Other website readings include “The Fifth Child, The One Who Cannot Ask,” about a child of the Shoah who did not survive to ask; “The Empty Chair,” remembering Jews in Ethiopia; “Ten Tips for a Great Seder” by Dr. Ron Wolfson; “How to incorporate learning about social justice in your Seder” from American World Jewish Service; “Great Resources for Kids,” encompassing “Passover song sheet;” “Write your own version of the four questions” and Videos.


Rabbi Shira Milgrom reflects a generation of rabbis who passionately create extraordinary encounters with Jewish texts, rituals and traditions that merge the intimate and personal with the grand vision of Judaism and the Jewish people. She is one of the rabbis of Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains– a member of a unique and innovative rabbinic partnership with Rabbi Thomas Weiner.


Rabbi Milgrom has traveled throughout North America bringing Jews closer to the words of Torah and Jewish self-expression. She is a graduate of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has academic training in a wide range of learning. Rabbi Milgrom is the author of articles on Jewish spirituality, education and healing. She has been the keynote speaker in major American conferences ranging from young leadership, women and feminism to issues facing the aging and the elderly. She is also the editor of a unique Siddur (prayer book) now used in settings across the continent. Rabbi Milgrom brings a remarkable vitality and creativity to Jewish learning settings.


Rabbi Milgrom is married to Dr. David Elcott and they are the parents of four children, and nine grandchildren.