Singapore’s Jewish community hosted its first interfaith seder ahead of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins on April 15 at sundown, reported Yahoo! News.

Ten religious leaders were among the roughly 50 guests who attended the Wednesday-night event at the Jacob Ballas Centre, including Mufti Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, the Roman Catholic Church’s Archbishop William Goh, and president of the Singapore Buddhist Federation Venerable Seck Kwang Phing. Also in attendance was Central Singapore District Mayor Denise Phua and Israel’s Ambassador to Singapore Sagi Karni.

A rabbi guided the event and explained the significance of the various foods that are part of the festive meal. Guests were also given a guided tour of the Singapore Jewish museum housed in the Jacob Ballas Centre. The event was an initiative of the Jewish Welfare Board.

“Passover is a special time for all Jewish families,” said Nash Benjamin, president of the Jacob Ballas Centre. “We are delighted to welcome our guests from the various faiths and communities to observe the seder ritual with us and to share with them the larger significance of this feast in relation to our faith and spiritual identity.”

“Such shared experiences will help us to connect more meaningfully with each other to affirm our ties and deepen our bonds of friendship,” he added

The event’s guest of honor—Singapore’s Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong—thanked the Jewish community for offering others the “opportunity to learn and understand the core tenets underlying the many diverse cultures and faiths around us.”

He noted that such warm hospitality “will serve to further strengthen the mutual trust and respect we have for all our religions and communities in Singapore.”

In related news, Singapore is set to open an embassy in Israel some 53 years after the two countries established diplomatic relations.

JNS

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