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Jewish Community Creates New Tradition On Easter Sunday

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Christians around the world are celebrating the Easter holiday, but the holy day is also creating a new tradition for some in the Jewish community.

Easter is a day that many families come together around the dinner table. Dozens of volunteers made sure those who don’t have family in town, still received a hot meal.

Preparing a holiday meal always takes some planning.

“We started cooking last week, Monday,” said Lisa Anderson, an Easter dinner volunteer.

So, imagine the preparation that goes into cooking a meal for more than 500 people.

“Sometimes I think I’m crazy, but I enjoy it,” said Anderson.

For the last eight years, Anderson has spent her holiday volunteering.

“I love to see people eat and smile, have a good time. It’s important,” said Anderson.

There are plenty of others who join her and the majority, don’t celebrate the holiday.

“To me, it’s just another day during Passover actually,” said Jerry Cohen, who heard about the opportunity to volunteer through his synagogue.

While Anderson prepares the food, it’s the Jewish community who actually delivers and serves the food.

Nearly 100 volunteers from synagogues all over the metro participate.

“Everyone is in a melting pot anyway, and there are different celebrations for different holidays, so we end up celebrating some and some you don’t,” said Cohen.

After 15 years of volunteering, Sandy Satz now has an Easter Sunday tradition, even though she never grew up with one.

“It’s a wonderful day for everybody to share and this is a part of sharing for all of us,” said Satz.

Helping people who don’t always have family around is what keeps her coming back.

“I have no place to go except a brother but he’s gone to his daughter’s,” said Roland Bilges, a senior who received a meal.

Easter may be a Christian holiday, but giving back has brought two religions together.

This volunteer effort has been going on for the last 20 years. It started years ago when a member of the Jewish community saw a need and knew members of local synagogues could step in.

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