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Seder without chicken soup: the vegan push

A Passover Earth Day campaign urges Jews to go vegan to mark the coincidence of the two celebrations.
TJI Pick
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Sweder plate with beetroot instead of shankbone

Passover Seder plate with alternative fillings.

Published: 17 April 2024

Last updated: 18 April 2024

An estimated 500,000 Jews in Israel and around the world will celebrate Pesach with a beetroot rather than a shank bone on their Seder plate.

The practice is part of a growing movement of Jews connecting Pesach and other Jewish holiday traditions to their vegan lifestyles.

And this Pesach, the synergy couldn’t be more apparent. This year, Pesach begins on Earth Day, April 22, an occurrence set to repeat only in another 30 years.

Jewish Vegan Life (JVL), a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire people to embrace the synergy between the worlds of Jewish tradition, plant-based living, and the environment, has launched a major campaign called Passover Earth Day, asking people to take a pledge and go vegan.

“Our actions in 2024 will resonate in 2054, shaping the destiny of life on Earth. Let’s come together to ensure a legacy of positive change for the planet we all hold dear,” said Raquela Karamson, JVL founder and CEO.

“Passover is a time of reflection, renewal; a celebration of redemption, freedom, and the power of collective action. This year, as we commemorate the Exodus from Egypt and the renewal of spring, we have a unique opportunity to extend the spirit of liberation to all beings and to our planet.”

For Passover, many vegans replace the traditional egg on the Seder plate with an avocado or a potato.

Rabbi David Rosen,  former chief rabbi of Ireland and member of the JVL Executive Council, said that veggie replacements for traditional foods go back many generations. 

He said the foods on the Seder plate are meant to represent the Exodus from Egypt. Those who choose not to use meat can use foods that symbolically represent what is mentioned in the Haggadah. Beets are a good representation of blood because of their colour. The Talmud in Tractate Pesachim discusses beets being served as a dish on Passover.


As Passover and Earth Day coincide, movement calls on Jews to go vegan (Jerusalem Post)


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