A Rainbow Kinda Passover

My 93-year-old Grandmother's adventure in LGBT Judaism. By Jennifer Lea Cohan

Jennifer Lea Cohan

My 93 year-old grandmother just informed me that she’s going to a Passover Seder this week. And it is being given by the former head of her rehabilitation facility, a woman who has been very kind to her during convalescence. The woman is hosting the holiday shindig with her partner – who is also a woman.

“They have been together for many years,” Grandma told me. That someone’s sexual orientation is a non-issue, I had to ask myself, is it because my Grandma is a Reform Jew, originally from Holland, or just awesome? Since my deceased Grandfather had the same background and was equally open-minded, I think I will go with “all of the above.”

This Seder will take place in my native California this week. But from across the country in Philadelphia, I muse about what special touches will be included. Here are a few guesses (Wishful thinking? Perhaps):

LGBT Haggadahs bound in softball *mitt leather, an entirely vegetarian meal, a re-worked Seder plate, perhaps even some musical interludes from Phranc and k.d.

Because it’s Northern California, someone will inevitably be wearing an ear cuff and a “Venus of Willendorf” amulet and they undoubtedly will work in animal rescue.

Man, I’m homesick. So I raise a sticky-sweet glass of Manischewitz to you, Grandma and Grandpa, and thank you (and my parents) for your open hearts and open minds. Maybe we can celebrate Passover next year, say, in Fire Island – or P-Town?

*No lesbians were harmed in the formulation of these cliches.

Jennifer Lea Cohan is professionally shallow, a lifestyle publicist focused on food and hospitality, design and events. She comes to Philadelphia by way of California (self-declared nuclear-free zone Santa Cruz) and New York, and resides in Center City with her husband and two children.