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Soldiers and families read about the Exodus during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
Soldiers and families read about the Exodus during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers and families read about the Exodus during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
Soldiers and families read about the Exodus during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers and families read about the Exodus during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
Soldiers and families read about the Exodus during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Matzah and traditional Seder foods during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
Matzah and traditional Seder foods during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers and families fill their plates with traditional foods during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
Soldiers and families fill their plates with traditional foods during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Gefilte fish patties during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
Gefilte fish patties during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
A Seder dish prepared for soldiers and families during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017.
A Seder dish prepared for soldiers and families during a Passover celebration at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Friday, April 19, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Jewish servicemembers and families in the Grafenwoehr community marked the start of Passover with traditional Seder dinners Friday.

A Seder is the festive Passover meal where participants celebrate the story of the Israelites' exodus out of Egypt.

“Passover is one of the biggest holidays for the Jewish community. It’s one of those holidays where, if you don’t see some people for the rest of the year, you will at least come together and take part in Seder together,” said Maj. Andrew Shulman, a reservist chaplain who came to the garrison to conduct the Passover services.

Tower Barracks held its first Seder meal Friday with around 40 members of the Grafenwoehr Jewish community.

The dinner included traditional foods like matzah and gelfite fish, and the traditional Seder songs, prayers, and scripture passages recounting the Exodus.

“It really means a lot to the families here, that we do Seder,” Shulman said. “There aren’t a lot of synagogues in this area. Let alone one that would do Seder in English. Between us and Ramstein, we might have the only English ones between here and England.”

Shulman estimates that there are around 250 Jewish soldiers in the garrison.

egnash.martin@stripes.com Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

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