Maryland faith leaders break matzoh together

Interfaith leaders gathered for a midweek version of the Jewish Passover Seder. They included, from left, Bishop Chris Matthews of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Richa Agarwala of the Chinmaya Mission Washington Regional Center; the Rev. Kasey Kaseman, an interfaith liaison with the Montgomery County government; Gompo Yeshe of Kunzang Palyul Choling; and Imam Ahmad Bahraini of the Islamic Educational Center. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

About 20 rabbis, imams, ministers and leaders of other religious groups gathered for a midweek version of the ritual dinner that usually ushers in the start of Passover, the Jewish festival that began the night of April 19 and ends this weekend.

Lubna Ejaz of the Muslim Community Center passes unleavened bread to Gompo Yeshe of Kunzang Palyul Choling at the interfaith dinner Wednesday night in Rockville. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

County Council Vice President Sidney Katz (D-District 3) said his staff came up with the idea for the event after the deadly mass shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October and mosques in New Zealand last month. The event came together as the world was reacting to news of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka…

Rabbi Janet Ozur Bass breaks a piece of unleavened bread at the midweek interfaith Seder, hosted by Montgomery County Council Vice President Sidney Katz. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

There were the usual Seder rituals: blessings over grape juice (no wine was served, respecting the Islamic practice of not consuming alcohol), dipping green vegetables in salt water and eating charoset, a paste-like mixture usually made of fruit, wine and nuts that is supposed to recall the mortar that Israelite slaves used while building in Egypt.

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